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Chinese tech giant OnePlus conducted a study that found that it takes less than a minute for young people in the UK to suffer from so-called ‘load rage.’ In fairness, even as someone who had to deal with dial-up internet as a teen, I’d get pretty annoyed if a mobile site took longer than about 15 seconds to load.
Surprisingly, slow internet connections and download speeds were named as the most frustrating elements of life by younger people.
Two-fifths of millennials said today’s digital world where most people are glued to their phones was leading them to experience symptoms of burnout, such as fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety. Almost half of those between 16 and 24 said they would like to reduce the amount of time they spent staring at a screen.
Other findings include a third of UK smartphone users saying they immediately regretted getting worked up over tech issues.
"Younger generations are surrounded by technology and are telling us that they need a break," said OnePlus UK's head of EU strategy and UK marketing, Kate Parkyn.
The study comes soon after news that congress is considering a bill that will restrict social media companies from exploiting “human psychology or brain psychology to substantially impede freedom of choice,” I.e. using tactics that keep users engaged for longer, such as infinite scrolling and auto-playing/loading content that is not a function of the service.
We’ve seen plenty of reports in the past warning of the dangers of smartphone addiction, especially among young people and children. It’s led to companies introducing features such as Apple's Screen Time and Google's Digital Wellbeing, which show how long users are spending on their phones or in certain apps and allows them to place time limits on these activities.
Part of why OnePlus conducted the survey was to promote its phones’ Zen mode, which limits a device's functions for 20 minutes at a time, allowing users to take a break from interacting with their handsets.