An Internet addiction epidemic is being unleashed across the UK, a report has found.
The damning survey, the third on the UK’s Internet usage by Stop Procrastinating, the website blocker and productivity app, is the most worrying to date, as it shows that the nation’s compulsive use of the Internet is getting worse.
It comes as the software goes free in an effort to help people wrest back control of their Internet use and lives.
The ‘We’re all Internet Addicts Now’ report found that 75 per cent of respondents believed they had no control over their use of Internet-based products and services, such as social media, email, instant messengers and web browsing.
Of these respondents, 62 per cent were worried at what they thought was their compulsive behaviour and lack of control of their use of the Internet, while 64 per cent claimed the level at which the Internet distracted them was significant and worrying.
The survey also revealed that 58 per cent of respondents believed they had alienated or offended a friend or family member because they’d been distracted by the Internet instead of focussing on them.
The reasons they gave included checking social media during a family meal or event, such as a wedding, checking social media during a meal out, and being angry with a friend because they were envious of what they had posted on social media and felt left out.
However, Briton’s were more likely to use social media and the internet to communicate with friends or set up social events at work than at home. Of those using social media and the Internet in this way, 66 per cent said they regularly used it communicate at work, admitting that they had become distracted from work by it.
Tim Rollins, director, said: “We’ve been working towards making Stop Procrastinating free and our announcement today looks like it is just in time to help people over their compulsive use of the Internet.
“The Internet, social media, emails are pervasive and eating into our quality time. We need urgently to put ourselves back in control.
“We’ve always had distractions in our lives, but we have never had to deal with a technology that is everywhere at once and influences every part of our lives. It is unprecedented the level of distraction we have to cope with.
“Our survey shows that uncontrolled use of the Internet or Internet addiction is affecting the vast majority of people. It is clear that everyone needs an Internet blocker in their lives. Now that Stop Procrastinating is free there are no excuses,”.