With the advent of smartphones and 3G, 4G services, more and more people have become addicted to smartphones. Although the addiction is not frequently discussed in national television, there have been many articles showcasing this recent phenomenon. For example, CNN wrote about three smartphone addicts back in late 2012, and there was a recent article concerning a study which found smartphone addiction of parents having negative consequences in rearing children.

In addition to these articles, Yonhap News, a Korean news agency, reported that a survey of 4,998 students aged 10 to 17 conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in last November found that those who are addicted to smartphones are more prone to cyberbullying, both as bullies and victims.

According to the poll, 2.9 % of those responded were categorized under “a high addiction-risk group” and 16.1 % were placed in “potentially” dangerous group. Of the high addiction risk group, 9.1 % of the respondents said they had fallen prey to peers in cyberspace, and 14.7% admitted to cyberbullying their peers. These figures were far higher than those in the non-addicted group, where only 3.1% were victims of bullying and 2.5% bullied others.

Among the bullies, 59% reported that they attacked others through mobile messengers such as Kakao Talk, a popular internet messaging application used among Koreans, and 43.7% said they were involved in bullying “by chance.”

The poll also reached other conclusions such as those who are addicted to smartphones also weren’t satisfied with their school and family lives, and performed poorly in school.

In response to the poll, a city official commented, “We will continue to come up with diverse consultation programs to prevent children from becoming too attached to their gadgets. That will protect the teenagers from being involved in online violence.”

You can further explore the poll from this article.