The study “Addictive behaviour at 18 years of age – Internet use”, based on a survey carried out among young people participating in the 2021 National Defense Day, estimates that out of 10 18-year-olds, nine use online social networks, nine do research, six-play online and two take risks in online gambling.

Regarding the use of the internet, 35% do it for two to three hours a day, 29% spend six hours or more, 24% four to five hours, and 13% less than one hour.

The “self-completed, voluntary and anonymous survey” has been carried out nationwide since 2015, “with an interruption in 2020, due to the constraints caused by the covid-19 pandemic”.

In 2021, 70,374 young people participated, of which three out of 10 started using the internet before age 10.

“A third (28%, of the young people questioned) have recently experienced one of seven problems that they attribute to using the internet”. Situations of emotional discomfort were mentioned by 16%, while 15% mentioned performance problems at school/work.

“Considering an indicator of more intensive use (six hours or more per day), there are some differences according to sociodemographic subgroups. Boys and young people with less schooling (up to the 9th grade) are the ones who play the most”, indicates the study, adding that young people “with less schooling, accompany unemployed young people in a more intensive use of social networks”.

The results of the survey also show that “young people with higher education are the ones who research the most and the ones who most declare an experience of problems related to the internet”.

The study concludes that between 2015 and 2019 there was a “gradual and slight increase in the use of social networks, online gambling in general and gambling in particular”, with the most intensive uses remaining “relatively stable” in terms of the number of hours per day on social networks, gaming, and surveys.