New statistics released by Vodafone have found that 9.7 million Brits prefer digital contact to meeting their friends in person, despite almost one in three (30%) believing that connected devices make people less sociable.

As part of its new Digital Behaviours study, Vodafone looked in-depth at the digital habits of 12 connected families from around the UK, and surveyed more than 2,100 other British residents on their own tech tendencies.

30% of Brits believe they are less sociable when using digital products, with that percentage rising to 38% of those aged 65 and over. Also, one in five British parents (19%) are concerned that their families are using digital products too much, with 15% even worried that other parents judge them for allowing their kids so much screen time.

The percentage of UK adults using smartphones has shot up from 39% to 66% in the past three years, with the number of phone users with 4G high-speed mobile internet growing almost tenfold from 2.7 million to 23.6 million over the course of just 12 months between January and December 2014.

With the ease of being able to access information at their fingertips, two thirds of Brits (67%) believe that using connected devices make them less active, with one in five (17%) even saying they may be too dependent on the internet at home. Despite this, a huge 87% believe that widespread connected devices is the way things are, and won't change.

British parents in 22 million homes now have the chance to take control with Vodafone's new broadband service. The service works seamlessly with a companion app, the first app of its kind for home broadband, that gives users the ability to schedule when Wi-Fi is available and when it's not on certain devices. Users can even set timers for the service to switch itself off when it's time for bed.

Cindy Rose, Consumer Director at Vodafone UK says "Connected devices have become a huge part of everyday life for all of us. But it's important that we all strike a balance between our time online and that spent offline. It's why we give our broadband customers the ability to easily control their internet use through an app. That way, you get the best of both worlds - a great connection when you're online, but also the chance to switch off."

Vodafone has also published the latest edition of its Digital Parenting magazine - full of tips on how to help kids stay connected safely and manage their screen time constructively. The latest issue can be viewed here:

Do we really prefer to be connected to people using our devices?

Do we really prefer to be connected to people using our devices?

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