Stuck at home during the Coronavirus Pandemic, people spent most of their time surfing online on their mobile phones. Humans witnessed drastic changes in their behaviors as the pandemic pushed them towards technological devices for work, play, and connecting.
Vivo, a global brand that designs and develops smartphones, software, and online services, undertook a research to examine the psychological impact on children from excessive use of mobile devices by parents and their kids. The study titled “Impact of Smartphones on Human Relationships 2021” revealed that 66% of parents admit to being distracted by their cell phones, even while spending quality time with their kids.
Some of the key findings of the report are:
Although the amount of time spent by parents with their children and families has increased by 57% and 49% respectively, but unfortunately, the quality of this time has deteriorated terribly. Below mentioned points substantiate the statement:
- 74% of the parents confess that their obsessive mobile phone usage has adversely affected their relationship with their kids.
- 66% of respondents admit that smartphones take most of their time even while spending time with their children.
- 69% of the parents say that they lose track of their children, and the people surrounding around them when clung to their cell phones. Over and above that, they get annoyed if children ask them questions during this time. This reveals the growing addiction to smartphones in adults. However, a majority of parents feel guilty about the growing smartphone addiction but it is clear that the family social way of relaxing has changed altogether.
- 71% of the parents admitted that they themselves give their children the access to the screen when they are busy with their office work.
- Another 36% admitted that they themselves give children screen time when they want some ‘me time’ for themselves. Taking into consideration the pandemic situation, children are spending more time at home, pushing parents to rely on the screen to keep them distracted.
Smartphones are becoming an integral part of humans’ lives. 80% of the people admit that their quality of life has improved as they feel more connected to their family and friends because of smartphones but:
- 94% of the respondents say that their mobile phones have become an inseparable part of their bodies. They can’t live without them at any cost. Only 46% of participants said that they switched off their smartphones for a longer duration.
- The concept of sacred space is getting lost; 70% of the people use their smartphones while eating food, 72% use them in the living room and 75% use them while spending time with family and friends. The phone is becoming the last thing that they see before going to bed. This behavior was seen among housewives, women, and white-collared workers.
Excessive usage of smartphones is not only impacting parents but is also taking a toll on children as well. Parents’ habits are directly impacting the children’s behavior:
- 90% of the parents believe that their children are not behaving in a socially or morally acceptable behavior.
- 90% of the parents think that their children are becoming aggressive as their usage of the mobile phone has increased too much.
- 85% of the parents report that their children aren’t socializing well and it is becoming difficult for parents to convince their children to take part in outdoor activities.
In the Pre-covid era, the time spent on smartphones was 4.94 hours on average but it has drastically increased during Covid, reaching a whopping 6.8 hours. It clearly indicates a 32% increase in the time spent on smartphones from the pre-covid times. Users have started spending more time on audio, gaming, and streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon, etc.
THE BOTTOM LINE
According to the latest data from GSMA Intelligence, there are 5.31 billion unique mobile phone users in the world today. Unique mobile phone users are growing at a rate of 1.8% per year. These whopping figures clearly conclude that the world is swiftly moving towards smartphone addiction. Having said that, we can presume that the numbers will continue to surge in the coming years.
Source: This article draws insights from the Annual SwitchOff report by Vivo, a global brand of innovative smartphones. The survey was conducted in association with Cybermedia Research (CMR) and had over 1100 consumers. It surveyed parents in the age group of 25-45 in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, and Ahmedabad.