Smartphones stopping us from "living in the moment", research finds

Nearly half of adults in the UK are so preoccupied that they can’t ‘live in the moment’ – with stress, money worries and smartphones common distractions.

A study of 2,000 UK adults found 45 per cent struggle to make the most of what they're doing, with more than two fifths too worried about how much events are costing them to enjoy them fully.

But ironically, more than a quarter even admitted to putting so much pressure on having a good time, that they usually don’t.

And 27 per cent don’t live in the moment because they are too busy making sure everyone else around them is enjoying themselves.

Another 56 per cent blame stress, while nearly a quarter are too busy trying to get the ‘perfect’ picture to really take everything in.

The research was commissioned by StubHub UK to invite people to live in the moment through their #TicketForward programme, which enables people to gift live event tickets to deserving people in their life.

A spokesman said: “There is something to be said for taking a little time out to enjoy what is happening, when it’s happening.

“Whether it’s cheering on your favourite football team as they score the winning goal, or seeing your favourite artist walk on stage for the first time, live events inspire an incredible sense of joy in all of us.

“Nowadays, with so many worries and distractions, many of us are not feeling that joy.”

The study also found just shy of nine in 10 will take snaps or videos during an experience.

Holidays, birthday celebrations, weddings and outings are the most common moments people will experience through a lens, with live sports events, gigs and catching up with friends also popular.

But this means they will waste as many as 10 minutes trying to get the perfect pic, and more than a tenth will spend a further 15 minutes editing and posting photographs following an event.

An average of six photos are taken on a night out, seven during a gig and 12 at special occasions such as christenings, weddings or birthdays.

Adults will also shoot nearly three minutes of video at a live sports event, and around two minutes of footage when out for a meal.

Yet, after all this time spent, a fifth only look back on images and videos of their experiences every six months or less.

And 58 per cent said they have snaps and footage on their phone from past events they NEVER look at.

As a result, half of those polled confessed they don’t truly ‘live in the moment’ when trying to capture eternal memories through pictures or video.

Mobile phones have a significant part to play in not being able to truly enjoy experiences, as a third will switch their phone off to get more satisfaction from an experience.

And a fifth will even leave their mobile at home altogether.

Consequently, 44 per cent of those surveyed, via OnePoll, agreed people are worse at ‘living in the moment’ now than they were five years ago.

As many as 68 per cent would happily give up their smartphone so they could better enjoy experiences.

And 21 per cent reckon they’d be more likely to enjoy an event if they didn’t have their mobile to hand.

Despite not truly relishing a moment, nearly three in four agreed a live event is the perfect way to escape some of the challenges in everyday life.

And more than half said giving someone the gift of an experience is much more valuable than gifting any material item.

A spokesman for StubHub added: “There’s nothing more exciting — and often inspiring — than going to a live event, whether that’s sports, the theatre or a gig, and just taking in the atmosphere.

“Our research found nearly six in 10 people would love to be able to give the gift of a live experience to someone if they had the chance.

“And now they can with #TicketForward - anyone can nominate someone who inspires them, to experience the joy of a live event and leave their troubles behind for, even if just for a moment.”