Are we shunning personal contact in favour of technology? That's just one of the questions we asked in our Digital Behaviours study...


The rise of the internet and the advent of social networks have given us all new ways of keeping in touch with our friends and loved ones. But are we shunning personal contact in favour of digital conversations?

That’s just one of the questions that our recent Digital Behaviours study was designed to answer. We’ve already seen how our new technology-heavy lifestyles are affecting our sleep, but are they affecting our social lives too? Time to find out…

Technological tendencies

In the last three years, the percentage of UK adults using smartphones has increased from 39% to 66%, with the number of 4G users growing from 2.7 million to 23.6 million in just 12 months.

The numbers are clear – technology is a huge part of our lives. But our Digital Behaviours study was designed to get a greater understanding of how technology is really affecting our habits, and to do that we’ve taken an in-depth look at the digital lives of 2,100 Brits, and 12 connected families across the country.

“9.7 million of us prefer to stay in touch with our friends and family digitally…”

According to the survey, 9.7 million of us – one in six of the UK population – prefer to stay in touch with our friends and family digitally, rather than by meeting them in person. This isn’t necessarily a surprise given how many of us use social networks like Facebook and Twitter every day, but almost one in three of us feel strongly that our connected devices have made us less sociable than before.

On top of that, a whopping 67% of us feel that our reliance on connected devices is making us less active in general, whether that’s because we’re not getting out as much, or because everything we need is right at our fingertips.

So what can we do to make a change?

Take control

Vodafone Broadband could quite possibly save your social, work and family life, by giving you the ability to easily control your own and your family’s internet usage. Want to switch off at 10pm, and ready yourself for a good night’s sleep? Or are you easily distracted during the day and want to get out more? No problem – open up Vodafone’s pioneering Vodafone Connect app, and simply set your Wi-Fi to switch on and off on a timer.

And that’s just a single example of how Vodafone Broadband can help you take back control of your digital life. Want to know more? Hit the link below!


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Losing sleep? We spoke to Professor John Groeger – Director of Research at the Department of Psychology of Hull University – to find out how our screen time is disturbing our sleep.