More than 1 in 5 smartphone users at risk of over-dependence

More than 20 per cent of South Korean smartphone users are at risk of being overly dependent on the devices, a survey has showed.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said 23.3 per cent of smartphone users in the country were at risk last year, up 3.3 percentage points from the previous year, citing a survey carried out by the National Information Society Agency.

The survey, which interviewed 15,000 people across the country on their smartphone usage, found that 19.3 per cent were at potential risk, while 4 percent were at high risk of being too reliant on the mobile devices.

The survey characterised users who have weak control over their smartphone usage and start to have problems with health and daily life as being at potential risk, while grouping those that have lost control and experience severe problems as being at high risk.

The majority of the respondents, 61 per cent, said individuals were responsible for solving their dependency problem on the devices, followed by companies at 21.8 per cent and the government at 17.2 per cent, reports Yonhap news agency.

South Korea ranked as the top country in terms of smartphone ownership among adults at 95 per cent, according to the U.S.-based Pew Research Center.