2020 has been a year unlike any other on record. It is no surprise to learn that we spent a lot of time on our smartphones while we were indoors staying safe amidst the pandemic. During the early months of strict lockdown, it was our only source to stay connected and updated – so much so that ‘doomsday scrolling’ became a legit term to describe people who searched obsessively on anything and everything related to Covid-19. We literally could not switch off our devices lest we miss something important.
However, unbeknownst to us, all the excess scrolling can take a toll on our mental health. If you did not already know about it, we now have proof of it, along with solid figures to back up just how much time we spend on our devices. Thanks to vivo’s second edition of the study titled ‘Smartphones and their impact on human relationships 2020’, we can clearly see how our smartphones became our lifeline during this year of social distancing. The study evaluates and throws light on the various dimensions of increasing smartphone usage – extent of usage, impact of lock down on usage patterns, impact on personal health and social relationships.
Here are some of the most important facts from the study that was conducted across eight major Indian cities viz., Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune with 2000 respondents cutting across age groups and demographics and of which 30% were females and 70% were males.
2020 Study Results
The study revealed that 66% of Indians believe that their smartphone improves their quality of life. Moreover, a whopping 70% of Indians feel that if their smartphone usage continues increasing, it is likely to impact their mental/physical health.
Additionally, 74% of respondents said that periodically switching off their mobile phone can help them spend more time with family. However, only 18% of users have actually switched off their phone on their own. Which is probably not surprising when you learn that 84% users carry their phones in the living room and 71% use them even while eating their food.
Difference From 2019
2019 seems like an age from a long time ago with everything that’s happened this year, but the numbers are undeniable when it comes to the rise of smartphone usage. The same study found that people spent 4.94 hours on their smartphones last year that went up to 5.48 hours until March 2020 and jumped to 6.85 hours per day. That implies a huge 39% jump in average daily time spent on smartphones in just one year!
Other stats that jumped out include the fact that only 33% respondents felt irritable or moody without their smartphones last year with that number more than doubling to 74% in 2020. Where 52% respondents checked their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up in 2019, that number jumped to 84% this year.
vivo India And The ‘Switch Off’ Campaign
vivo, the innovative global smartphone brand, launched this campaign to sensitize people about the benefits of mindful use of smartphones and spread the message of why there is a need to #SwitchOff your phones once in a while.
The study is just one way to amplify and put into numbers what many of us already suspected when it came to increased smartphone usage.
Nipun Marya, Director-Brand Strategy, vivo India, summed up the study and said, “The year 2020 was unusual – a year that nobody had imagined. Amidst the socially distant lives that the pandemic pushed us to lead, the smartphone emerged as the central nervous system for everything. However, its excessive use has led to addiction among users, and that in turn is impacting human relationships and behaviour.”
To sensitize people about this addiction and encourage them to choose their ‘SwitchOff’ time, vivo India has initiated a campaign with one very clear and simple objective – bringing joy to people’s lives. The numbers above clearly illustrate the need to reduce our dependence on our smartphones, especially in today’s post-pandemic world by making it a part of our ‘new normal’.
There is no set duration or time that you need to switch off from your smartphone because every individual’s needs and requirements are different, the campaign encourages you to mindfully take action to reduce the amount of time you spend on your device every day to spend quality time with your dear ones.
So, this New year, don’t let your smartphone dictate your life. Take up the resolution to take some time off, reduce your addiction and maintain a healthy relationship with your smartphone. It’s definitely possible to do so since it doesn’t require anything more than willpower and commitment. All you must do is dedicate some time to #SwitchOff and enjoy little moments of life with your near and dear ones!
This is a partnered post.