When entering the metro for the first time, you are chocked by the amount of people using their mobile. Actually, 100% of the passengers are. And I shouldn’t say mobile phones but smartphones. All of them have a Samsung Galaxy III or IV, or Note, in their hands – Which shouldn’t surprise me, Samsung makes around 30% of all phones sold worldwide. In Korea we must reach 99%, only a few heretics have IPhones!
Though, according to the government, 1 in 5 students in South Korea is addicted to smartphone use. This addiction is defined as spending more than seven hours a day using the phone and experiencing symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and depression when cut off from the device.
Korea has an experience in the digital addiction field: The country has had problems with online-game addiction among teenagers for years thanks to widespread availability of high-speed Internet services.
In Taiwan, the phenomenon of constantly checking email or social media has led to the label “heads-down tribes.”
Last July, the South Korean government said it plans to provide nationwide counseling programs for youngsters by the end of the year and train teachers on how to deal with students with addiction. Taxpayer-funded counseling treatment here already exists for adult addicts.
As you will see below, adults, indeed, use their smartphones in all circumstances as well!!!
A few figures I’ve extracted from the Wall Street Journal
. Mobile-phone penetration rate: more than 100%—meaning some individuals carry more than one handset—and smartphones nearly two-thirds of those devices (vs 50% in the US for smartphones).
. Penetration rate in children ages 6 to 19: tripled to 65% last year from a year earlier.
. Smartphone addiction rate among teens was 18%, double the addiction rate of 9.1% for adults (vs 37% of teens in the U.S.).