A growing number of North American consumers now believe they’re suffering from “digital overload,” and many are beginning to think about what potential negative effects their daily use of electronic devices is having on their lives, according to a consumer survey commissioned by graphic communications non-profit Two Sides.
The survey, which sought to uncover the print and electronic communications habits of consumers living in the U.S. and Canada, found that nearly half of respondents (48 percent) believe they spend too much time on electronic devices. More than half of those polled (53 percent) are now concerned that their personal overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health.
Recent research shows that U.S. adults now spend more than six hours per day using digital media, more than half of which is spent on their smartphones. For teens, that number is much higher, up to nine hours per day.
Health experts have attributed too much screen time to everything from eye strain to shortened attention spans to anxiety and depression to disrupted sleep patterns, which can potentially cause detrimental effects on wellbeing as well as brain health.
|Percentage of consumers who prefer to read in print.|
However, less than a third of the Two Sides survey respondents (29 percent) said they currently feel they’re suffering from “digital overload” (31 percent of U.S. respondents and 27 percent of Canadians).
That said, an overwhelming majority (70 percent) said they value the importance of “switching off” and reading more in print.
The Two Sides survey found that a majority of Americans still prefer print over digital when it comes to reading everything from books (68 percent) and magazines (65 percent) to newspapers (53 percent).
Only respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 widely prefer digital when it comes to reading newspapers (62 percent) and magazines (53 percent), but still, even a majority of that generation prefers print when it comes to reading books (54 percent).
Two Sides’ report was conducted by marketing research firm Toluna and polled nearly 2,100 North American consumers in February.