10% of Brits get ‘stress and anxiety’ from slow internet

One in 10 UK adults say they experience ‘stress and anxiety’ as a result of slow broadband and poor internet connections, according to new research from the Fix Britain’s Internet campaign.

A quarter of those said the level of stress was similar to the kind they get in public transport delays - and one in seven compared it to the stress of being next to screaming children on a long-haul flight.

Scientist and 'father of neuromarketing' Dr David Lewis even believes that slow internet can seriously affect our health. He said: "The tortoise-like speed of a poor broadband connection doesn't just a waste our time, it can also be detrimental to our physical and mental health.

"My own lab's scientific research has proved that when internet connections slow to a crawl in the middle of completing an online task, we experience significant increases in blood pressure and heart rate, impaired reasoning and decision-making, growing anxiety, intense frustration and even incidents of 'computer rage'."

Admittedly, 'detrimental' is a bit of a strong term here. A whole cacophony of low-level stresses can definitely have an adverse effect on our health, but slow internet is having to compete with the likes of work, public transport, family issues, bills, and world politics in its bid to stress us out. On its own, slow internet generally just causes low or mid-level stress, which in itself isn't going to kill you.

Dr David Lewis also doesn't appear to have a published, peer-reviewed study on the matter… so take his claim with a pinch of salt.

Still, putting up with ever-buffering videos and web pages that take a decade to load is definitely a tad stressful, and the Fix Britain's Internet campaign thinks a lot of slow broadband in the UK comes down to the Openreach network.

The campaign - created by TalkTalk, Sky, Vodafone, and the Federation of Communication Services - wants Openreach to become a fully separate company, which it believes would make it easier for providers to improve their own broadband services. And, thus, speed up the internet and cut down on our stresses.

For more info, visit the Fix Britain's Internet website.

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