A nation of phone-offenders

New research shows that Brits are more obsessed with their phones than ever before – posting an average of 41 social media updates per week. However, for some of us the constant sharing across social media channels, is wearing thin. 

The study by the mobile network, Three UK, reveals that a third of us are especially tired of reading about negative issues that are regularly over-shared in social media feeds such as break-ups, pay rises and people’s health issues.

However we’re all ears when it comes to positive news such as weddings, weight loss and holidays, with four in five of us enjoying regular updates on these issues.

We are so attached to our phone that nearly 60% of us sleep with our phone by our bedside every night.  And we are more likely to check our phones when we wake up (38%) than say hello to our partners (26%), or have a shower. One in 10 of us check our phone within 10 minutes of having sex and 4% claim they check their phone during the act.

Three’s research also found that half of respondents (54%) said they’d use their phone on a date, 45% would use it at the dinner table and 35% even said they’d use their mobile at a funeral.

Our obsessions don’t stop there, 28% of us would ring someone more than three times if they didn’t pick up and 27% of people think WhatsApp messages should be replied to immediately.

It seems we’re becoming a nation of over-sharing every aspect of our lives. 18 million* Brits have used their phones to share risqué photos of themselves, with 16% taking selfies in their bathroom. Seven per cent even admitted they’d taken a selfie on the toilet.

However it’s not just us mere mortals who are guilty of revealing too much, celebrities are oversharing and also guilty of not checking their social posts either. Little Mix, rapper Bow Wow, and Nikki Minaj, have all been victim to social media slip ups.

The survey also found that 40% of us want people to put their phones away at gigs and concerts and that 27% are tired of people constantly taking photos on nights out.  

Sylvia Chind, head of devices and products at Three, said: “We all love to share stuff, whether it’s our holiday photos, dancing ponies or the latest cat meme. As the network that loves data we give our customers the opportunity to share content and update their status to their heart’s content.

“This research suggests that we just need to be a little more aware of our surroundings and the appropriateness of when and where we share. We can’t forget that we all still need to make the most of our experiences and not live it all through our mobile screen.” 


Notes to Editors

For further information please contact: 

Three Consumer PR team 



  • About Three

Three is a communications company. We are focused on making mobile better for everyone.

We want to give customers a quality mobile experience and address the industry issues that frustrate them.

We continue to look at ways of improving the experience we offer our customers.

Three carries 39% of the UK’s mobile data. Our network covers 98% of the UK population.

Three UK is a member of CK Hutchison Holdings, which also has investments in mobile operations in Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Macau, Sri Lanka, Sweden and Vietnam.

Three employs over 4,400 people across its offices in Maidenhead, Glasgow and Reading and its 347 retail stores.

For more information visit www.three.co.uk 

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