A new research study conducted by the Deloitte recently threw some light on the UK public' smartphone usage pattern. As smartphones grow in terms of productivity, functionality and as communication devices, we tend to get more drawn towards them, making them essential part of our lives.
Based on a survey on over 4,000 UK adults, Deloitte reveals that smartphones are such essential devices that as many as a third of all smartphone users check their phones in the middle of the night for various purposes, be it checking messages, e-mails or social media. Also, one in every ten smartphone users checks his/her phone as soon as he/she wakes up and more than half of all users check theirs within half an hour after getting up in the morning.
It has also emerged that most people's smartphone usage don't depend on their schedules or social interactions. One in every three phone users check their phones while dining at restaurants, shopping, watching TV or even when they are meeting their friends. Not surprisingly, 33% of those in the age group of 18-24 and 38% of older smartphone users have admitted that their smartphone usage has resulted in arguments at home.
Addicted to the internet? Digital detox is the way out
“Smartphones are personal devices, but their usage impacts those around them. As with most emerging technology, consumers will need to learn how best to run their lives with smartphones, as opposed to having their lives run by their devices,” said Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte.
Today, 81% of the UK's adult population use smartphones compared to 76% who use laptops. Because of smartphone penetration reaching record numbers, the penetration percentage has gone down over the years from 19% in 2013 to just 7% since June of this year. However, on the flip side, only one in every five feature phone users intend to migrate to smartphones in the coming days. This basically means that a majority of those who needed smartphones already own one.
"Given the market saturation, in the next 12 months, we expect smartphone penetration to rise modestly, perhaps by no more than two or four percentage points. However, smartphones will not suffer the same fate as tablets. The replacement market is likely to remain healthy, and given the sizeable base of existing owners, smartphone sales are likely to remain in the tens of millions for the foreseeable future,” Lee added.
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However, smartphones are truly addictive and may cause harm to one's social life but it is not that British consumers are not mindful of the dangers posed by them. Back in August, an Ofcom report titled 'Communications Market Report 2016'stated that hat over fifteen million adults in the UK have resorted to 'digital detox' to stay away from the internet and enjoy their lives beyond the screen.
While no one can argue with the benefits that internet has brought to our lives, it is also true that spending too much time on the internet has not only caused stress to a number of people but has also impacted their social lives. Those who took to 'digital detox' to spend time away from the internet have reported an improvement in their quality of life. While one in every three of such users felt more productive, 27% found it a liberating experience and one in every four enjoyed life more.
“The internet has revolutionised our lives for the better. But our love affair with the web isn’t always plain surfing, and many people admit to feeling hooked. So millions of us are taking a fresh look at the role of technology in our lives, and going on a digital detox to get a better tech-life balance,” said Jane Rumble, Director of Market Intelligence at Ofcom.