Phone-addicted Brits scroll the height of this towering landmark daily, says survey

"I'll just see if anyone's liked it..." (Getty Images)
"I'll just see if anyone's liked it..." (Getty Images)

You've heard of doom-scrolling. Now, make way for Eiffel Tower-scrolling. A new survey by lenstore has discovered the shocking lengths Brits go to on social media every day.

After crunching the numbers, based on the time we spend on our phones daily, lenstore revealed that we scroll through the equivalent of 914 meters every single day. When compared to famous worldwide landmarks, this equates to three times the height of the Eiffel Tower and almost three times The Shard. Annually, Brits scroll the distance from London to Manchester - an astounding 333,610 metres.

Of course, our screen-time went up dramatically during the pandemic, partly due to being stuck at home, and also thanks to the need to keep up with the news.

One poll found that average screen-time went up by almost half during successive lockdowns, with many of us scrolling for, on average, 46 days a year, or three hours a day.

Read more: Kids' screen-time 'doubled during pandemic'. Here's how to bring it down again.

But is scrolling just a way to pass time or are we addicted to our daily screen time dose?

A significant 19% of Brits admit to scrolling for over five hours per day. Whether it's while watching TV, eating breakfast or on public transport, many of us are guilty of checking through our phones multiple times a day - and 6% spend between seven and eight hours on their phones - the equivalent of an average working day.

A woman taking a bath and smiling while messaging someone she met on a dating app using her smartphone.
"It's on;y been eight hours today, I'm doing well." (Getty Images)

Age also appears to play a significant role. Younger Gen Zs are the generation most attached to their phones, with 18% admitting to scrolling for between seven and eight hours per day and 7% for over eight hours.

Scrolling while watching TV was found to be the most common habit (48%), closely followed by before you fall asleep (46%) and while having breakfast (41%).

Meanwhile, an easily bored 5% of singletons admitted to scrolling through their phone while on a date, along with 13% who scroll through their phones with friends and 10% while eating out at a restaurant. Our scrolling habits go far beyond just our bad table manners with 31% of Brits admitting to scrolling whilst on the loo and for 8%, scrolling has replaced the traditional post-coital cigarette.

Read more: Adults spending more than a quarter of their day online: what effect is this having on our health?

It seems newer apps have the most negative impact. As a term, ‘Doomscrolling’ first gained recognition in June 2020 when we were in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The word has since gained momentum, still receiving over 27,000 worldwide searches in November 2021, so perhaps it's no surprise that news apps were associated with the highest volume of negative emotions, including feeling depressed, worried, and anxious.

I have to send this message in time
"Not more bad news. It happens every time I check." (Getty Images)

When analysing social media apps, Facebook ranked first with the highest number of respondents saying the app made them feel depressed and anxious. Given the stream of perfect-life, perfect-body pictures, unsurprisingly, Instagram was the app associated the most with feelings of jealousy.

The apps that had the greatest positive impact on our emotions were shopping apps, with 32% of participants saying scrolling made them happy, 20% inspired and 15% confident.

But why can't we just put the phone down sometimes, and walk away?

Neurolinguistic programming coach Rebecca Lockwood says, "When you post an update on social media which receives engagement, you are instantly hit with a shot of dopamine.

"Dopamine is one of the brain's neurotransmitters which helps send positive emotional responses to the body. The body then takes action towards rewards. When it comes to social media, likes and comments are the ‘rewards’ that can become extremely addictive, leaving us endlessly scrolling without even being aware of it.’

Read more: The mental health effects of 'doomscrolling' and how to resist it

Close up of a group of friends on the beach taking a selfie together
"Then I'll post it on insta to make people feel bad." (Getty Images)

To reduce your phone scrolling time, she suggests:

1 Check your phone at allocated times

Setting an allotted period of time to scroll through your phone is an extremely effective method of cutting down your screen time. Set an alarm or dedicated one or two hours a day. By doing this, you will become much more present both with yourself and the people around you.

2 Turn off your notifications

This tip may seem obvious but reducing the constant stream of notifications that get sent to your phone is an important step. Taking some time for yourself away from your phone can be a great way to reconnect with your surroundings.

3 Leave your phone in a different room

For some, turning off their notifications may not be enough to keep themselves away from their devices. Creating some distance between you and your phone is important especially when you are spending quality time with a loved one - by doing so, you make space for real connections and conversations.

4. Delete social media apps to avoid aimlessly scrolling

This will not only help with the habit and amount of time that is spent on scrolling, but also reduce any negative impact social media may be having on you.

Watch: Prince William shows he's no gaming noob on visit to BAFTA