Man in office at computer.

The power of addiction: What does the UK public depend upon?

What’s the greatest addiction in the UK today?

Many people would say nicotine.

Yet there are a whole host of other activities, habits and items which some people believe are equally, if not more, addictive. In a bid to discover exactly what qualifies as an addiction in the eyes of the great British public, we conducted a survey amongst 2,000 respondents – and found some intriguing results.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey revealed that almost half of the survey respondents voted in favour of mobile phones being classed as an addiction. What’s more, a considerable 18% admitted to spending between 30 minutes to one hour every day on these apparently essential devices, which over the course of a year, could equate to a total of 15 days.

Given the undeniable need for mobile phones for both business and leisure purposes in today’s society, it’s almost inevitable that so many of us just can’t live without them.

Keeping it Social

Graph showing what the British public consider to be addictions.

But there’s something even more addictive! Social media was cited as an addiction for more than half of respondents, with 10% of the UK spending at least an hour a day on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

While these networks are an indispensable means of communicating with friends, family, colleagues and even celebrities, as well as keeping up-to-date with the latest news, the risk that face-to-face interaction is neglected in favour of virtual communication is becoming increasingly prevalent.

The most cited modern day addiction however, accounting for 53% of the votes, is gaming – a popular pastime for millions of people around the world. According to our data, the average gamer spends around 30 minutes playing on their computer or console each day.

Addicted to Love

While these activities are arguably obvious forms of addiction in today’s technology-driven society, a number of other less striking habits were also characterised as addictions.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed believed that the need to be in a relationship could be considered an addiction, with almost a third admitting that they are dependent upon having a partner. Interestingly enough, a larger proportion of males responded in this way, accounting for 37% of the votes, compared to just 27% of females.

Get the Look

Personal appearance was also voted for by 34% of respondents, with the need to look good being a priority for over a fifth of people in the UK. While some may consider vanity to be a typically female characteristic, the survey revealed that around 16% of men are in fact obsessed with their physical appearance.

In keeping with the theme of bodily aesthetics, calorie counting, one of the country’s latest crazes amongst health and fitness fanatics, is considered to be an addictive trend, gaining just shy of 40% of the votes.

Living to Work

work addiction small

While many deem work to be something they are obliged to undertake for specified number of hours each week, our survey has also shown that there are in fact more workaholics out there than you might assume. Working overtime was defined as an addiction by 23% of the survey’s participants, while around 10% of employees are obsessed with doing so, be it at the office or in the comfort of their own home.

(Incidentally, this post was sent to me at 11.00 at night 😉 )

What do you think? Are these really addictions, and are they a problem? Let me know in the comments!

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