Younger mobile phone users ‘suffering from load rage’

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It takes young people in the UK less than one minute to get annoyed while waiting for phone content to download, research suggests.

The survey of UK smartphone users by Chinese phone maker OnePlus suggests that young people are five times more likely to lose their temper because of slow download speeds than older phone users.

The frustrations around internet connectivity and download speeds – labelled “load rage” – were also named as the most frustrating element of life by young people.

As a result, two-fifths of millennials said they felt symptoms of burnout – including fatigue, insomnia and anxiety – because of the digital-heavy nature of their lives.

But more than a quarter of 16 to 34-year-olds surveyed also said that those in older generations did not understand the pressures on young people in a technology-driven world.

However, the OnePlus research also suggested a high level of awareness about excessive phone use among younger people, with nearly half of those aged between 16 and 24 claiming they would like to reduce their screen time.

A third of all UK smartphone users said they immediately regretted getting worked up over tech issues.

The impact of technology on mental health, particularly in young people, has become a larger talking point within the industry amid increased scrutiny from the Government over the amount of time people spent in front of screens.

Proposals put forward by the Government in a white paper earlier this year said a greater duty of care should be placed on technology companies to protect their users from harm.

Several high-profile phone manufacturers, including both Apple and Google, have introduced tools in the last year which enable users to monitor their screen time and place time limits on app use.

OnePlus UK’s head of EU strategy and UK marketing Kate Parkyn said: “Younger generations are surrounded by technology and are telling us that they need a break.

“OnePlus understands this and with our 5G phones and Zen mode, which allows users a moment to ‘switch off’, people can spend more time doing the things they love and less time staring at a screen.”

The firm’s Zen mode limits the functions of a user’s phone for 20 minutes, which the company says enables users to take a break from technology.

Chris Price
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