Comedian Dom Joly took on the challenge of going for a whole weekend without his mobile phone – to highlight just how much Brits rely on their devices to complete day-to-day tasks.
More than seven in ten adults (71%) admit they would struggle to manage their life without access to the internet – and reckon they could go just five hours and 11 minutes without using their phone.
Over half (51%) use their mobile daily to access the internet – for things such as maps and directions (34%), social media (38%), and online banking (44%).
In fact, the poll of 2,000 adults revealed that they typically use their mobile phones for three hours and 34 minutes a day, and their laptops for just under four hours.
But Brits believe they could last three days without access to a laptop or tablet, and the same amount of time without using their games consoles.
However, without a phone, 56% say they would hardly communicate with anyone – as 45% use it daily to speak to friends or family.
The research was commissioned by Tesco Mobile, which is distributing data through the Trussell Trust’s network of food banks as part of its Little Helps Databank, aiming to connect 50,000 people facing financial hardship by 2025.
The study also found 57% agreed digital connection is vital for their wellbeing, and a further 56% also said it’s important for their social life – while 49% rely on accessing the internet for their job.
Tesco Mobile have teamed up with comedian Dom Joly to highlight the importance of being online and connected.
He spent a weekend without any devices, and came up against several problems – including being unable to pay for groceries without his banking app.
He also missed his daughter's hockey game as he couldn't find the location without access to maps, and wasn't able to pay a bill without a phone or internet access.
Dom Joly said: “This experience has highlighted to me just how vital having digital connection is. I take a huge amount for granted having a mobile phone and internet access.
“In just a weekend I felt very frustrated and isolated, and didn’t expect to face such a variety of hurdles caused by my lack of data and internet.
“I can only imagine how hard it is for people who are disconnected over much longer periods, and often without the support of others.
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“Poverty is an issue that a growing number of families are facing across the UK. I hope to raise awareness of people facing financial hardship and not being able to afford essentials, like connectivity.”
The research also found that, in the past 12 months alone, people have used their smart device to pay bills (32%), book medical appointments (24%), and order food shopping (22%).
Others have accessed benefits advice and other forms of support (12%), applied for a job (11%), and booked their child onto after-school clubs (10%).
Lack of access to devices and the internet would leave people feeling disconnected (38%), isolated (27%), and lonely (25%).
But despite seven in ten (71%) assuming most adults would have a mobile phone with sufficient data today, 35% know someone who can’t access the internet, according to the OnePoll data.
Claire Pickthall, CEO of Tesco Mobile, says: “Technology enables us more than ever to help manage our lives.
“Whether it’s connecting with loved ones, making important appointments, or managing finances, everything can be done from one connected device.
“We rely on our smartphones so much, it’s hard to imagine how people who are disconnected are able to tackle those tasks.”
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