Digital daze: 73% of adults ‘can’t imagine’ going a full day without looking at a screen

LONDON — From computers and tablets to smartphones and TV sets, nowadays most people’s days consist of staring at one screen and then moving on to the next. As such, a recent poll of 2,000 British adults reports a whopping 73 percent can’t even imagine going a full 24 hours without at least one screen to stare at.

How glued are we to our devices exactly? On average, researchers report adults spend about six hours daily in front of screens.

Consequently, respondents say their eyes are paying the price. Many told researchers they struggle just to keep their eyes open by around 6 p.m. The survey, which was commissioned by Artelac, also reports 41 percent of adults are experiencing dry eyes more frequently ever since the pandemic started.

Interestingly, six in 10 surveyed adults speculate that they stare at more screens while working from home since the pandemic began as opposed to commuting to an office. Back then, at least employees could give their eyes a break by chatting with co-workers or heading to the break room. The average remote worker right now takes just four screen breaks per day (once every two hours) over the course of an eight-hour work day.

“We all have busy schedules, and spending more and more time hooked to the screen has left my eyes feeling really tired and stressed recently. Often I’ll be on emails and reading scripts between meetings and presenting work, updating and scrolling through social media or catching up on the news,” says British TV presenter Tess Daly, in a statement. “Screen time is unavoidable these days and I know it can leave my eyes feeling particularly dry – it’s so important we factor in breaks away from our screens throughout the day.”

On a more encouraging note, close to half (45%) say they’re open to and feel “positively” about the idea of a screen break. Another 64 percent admit that they spend far too much time staring at screens. The average respondent estimates that only 47 percent of their screen time is actually spent on productive matters, and 34 percent have started cutting themselves off from screens each night around 9 p.m.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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