One in eight Flemings have 'digibesitas'

Digimeter, the annual probe into how Flemings interact with the media, reveals that more and more people in Flanders are becoming addicted to social media and their smartphones.
Cedric Hatto

The problem is most prevalent among people in their twenties and thirties. Teenagers don't seem to suffer from it.

Today seven out of ten Flemings are worried about the increased use of digital applications. Twenty percent of people admit that they feel too reliant on their smartphones. They cannot do without and feel that this is a problem.

But many Flemings are taking action in order to address addiction. A small group of people have decided to get rid of their smartphone and return to the conventional landline phone. In 2015 1.5% of smartphone users took this decision. Last year this had doubled to 3%.

Others opt for self-regulation and set rules for their kids too. 22% of smartphone users are now in this category. Measures include simple rules like banning smartphones from the bedroom.

28% of Flemings say they can't go a day without social media. People in the twenty and thirty age category are most affected because they spend most of their time on one platform: Facebook. They are worried of missing anything and this is where they share all their content. Teenagers experience less of a problem because they are active on several platforms.

13% of Flemings - one in eight - say that they feel too reliant on their smartphone and digital media. They are suffering from digibesitas.

Only 6% of Flemings, chiefly seniors, haven't got digital equipment at home. 65% of Flemings think they are 'with it', while 35% don't. For most of the don'ts this is a conscious choice. 11% are strugglers and can't keep up.