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Digital detox Swiss struggle to break ‘smartphone addiction’

A picture of three girls on a sofa staring at their phone

Even those taking the occasional conscious break said they still spend too much “dead time” online. 


Only 31% of people in Switzerland manage to take a conscious break from media consumption at least once a day. One in four Swiss never actively disconnects at all, according a representative survey published on Monday.

This applies to people in all linguistic areas of the country, revealed the surveyexternal link by Those who do take occasional breaks said they still spent too much “dead time” consuming all kinds of online media.

It’s not only younger people who treat their smartphone as a constant companion: 36% of those who never take an active break from media consumption are over 56, according to This is the same proportion as for those users aged 18 to 35.  

+Learn about the growing influence of social media on the news in Switzerland

Increased pressure

“The smartphone has replaced the television and the radio, which means that people have constant access to all kinds of media at their fingertips,” said Jean-Claude Frick, digital expert at

Messages from friends and colleagues on social media increase the pressure to constantly check our phone, he said.

Push notifications – “the junk emails of the smartphone generation” – are another reason for people’s inability to reduce their consumption, Frick said. He recommends turning them off as a “first step to a breaking the smartphone addiction”.

The survey questioned 1,049 people about their media consumption in all areas of Switzerland.

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