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Online habits Young Swiss spend on average four hours a day online

Students using a mobile phone

Swiss students use a smartphone to do some research


Young people in Switzerland spend more of their free time online than adults – on average four hours a day. But they also think more about their use of the internet and sometimes even set their own rules. 

Half of young people aged 16-25 have a positive experience of being permanently online, according to “Always Onexternal link”, a survey of 1,001 young people and 390 adults published on Monday by the Federal Commission for Child and Youth Affairs. 

Instant messaging, social media, email and video portals are the most frequently used media. In particular young people appreciate being in touch with other people, looking for school or job information, or simply having fun. 

online datawrapper

Graph on importance of various online activities for young people

At the same time, one in three young people feels under pressure from certain apps and one in four gets nervous when they are not online for a while. 

The survey found that 40- to 55-year-olds are online for an average of two-and-a-half hours a day. 

Regulatory strategies 

It also reported that 95% of young people had developed a regulatory strategy to cope with the many online notifications. 

For example, three-quarters said they didn’t use their phones when they needed to concentrate on something else, almost two-thirds had deleted apps because they took up too much time, and half had disabled notification features. 

Two out of five young people have rules about when they are online and for how long. 

The survey also found that 10% of young people spend 5.4 hours a day online. These people set themselves more rules but also develop withdrawal symptoms when they are not online.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Switzerland is below average when it comes to internet use among its member states:

internet use graphic

graphic on OECD internet use


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