Digital technology users can’t live without smartphones: Survey

Smartphone users of MaxisUsers of digital technology find it difficult to live without their smartphone, but most users can do away with social networks, says a global survey conducted by Orange, in partnership with Opinion Way.

While 60 percent of the 11,800 respondents in nine countries (South Korea, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Spain, US, France, Morocco, UK, Senegal) said they are unable to live without their smartphones, 75  percent of French and Spanish users and 82  percent of Americans said they can do without social networks.

An average of 67 percent of the survey participants said they can no longer live without internet.

As digital technology penetration peaks, users are also increasingly aware of the risks while not undermining their advantages: almost one person in two does not trust social networks. They are also aware of the risks around hyper connection, sense of insecurity regarding personal data and social isolation.

Intensive use of digital technology is creating a growing need to disconnect, even occasionally, according to over 80 percent of the participants. However, most users find it hard to put this aspiration into practice, Orange survey said.

According to the survey, digital penetration is likely to rise further as more personalized services in healthcare, education, and financial sectors gain popularity.

Digital pollution issues raise the question of the programmed obsolescence of digital devices. Users, especially those in France (29  percent), say they are now completely willing to replace their devices less often. In Western countries, recycling is a well-established practice: one in every three users says they recycle.

Digital inclusion is seen as important by most of the people surveyed: it should even be a national priority according to 72  percent of French digital users and 87  percent of Spanish users.