Smartphone Usage in South Korea

Two-thirds of the South Korea’s primary and secondary school students currently use smartphones with about 8 percent considered at risk of smartphone addiction, a survey indicated Wednesday.

According to an education office survey of some 1.45 million elementary, middle and high school students in Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul, 66 percent said they use smartphones.

The smartphone ownership ratio for elementary students was 47.6 percent, while 75.9 percent of middle school students and 77.2 percent of high school students use the devices.

Of those surveyed, 7.9 percent were deemed at risk of becoming addicted to smartphone use, with 2.2 percent classified as high-risk users who require counseling and treatment, the survey said.

Another 5.7 percent were considered to be in a potential-risk category.

Those considered at high risk of addiction experience withdrawal symptoms during their everyday life and often feel anxiety if separated from their smartphones.

They also conduct most of their personal communications via the devices.

The survey also found that 45 percent of respondents spend one to three hours per day on their smartphone. Notably, 10 percent of respondents said they spend more than five hours a day on the devices.

The Gyeonggi Province Office of Education said it will reinforce education for students on the proper use of smartphones in school classrooms.

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