(Insights West photo)

(Insights West photo)

21% of people admit to being addicted to their phone: poll

Smartphone usage surpasses TV time in B.C. homes, a new survey suggests

Are you a smartphone addict?

More than 66 per cent of British Columbians say their smartphone plays an important part in their lives, but 21 per cent admits their usage has turned into more of an addiction, according to a new survey out Friday from Insights West.

About 17 per cent of respondents described their relationship with their devices as “strong, but manageable,” while four per cent called it an “unhealthy addiction.”

Back in 2014, the same survey suggested eight per cent of British Columbians claimed they could do without their phone. hat number has since decreased to four per cent.

Users now report spending an average of 16.5 hours a week on these devices, surpassing the average 11 hours they spend watching TV. That’s up from 13.7 hours of smartphone usage in 2014 and 12 hours in 2013.

Part of the addiction could be due to the wide range of day-to-day activities that rely on smartphones, survey results suggest. For example, more than one-in-five respondents said they’ve bought something through a website accessed with their phone.

The most common reasons people pick up their phone are texting, email and reading the news.