66% Indian adults are addicted to online world due to COVID-19: Study

Hyderabad: The COVID-19 pandemic, which made the world shut itself indoors for months, has also resulted in negatively impacting Indian adults, a study has found. In a poll of over 1,000 people, 8 in 10 (82%) said that the amount of time they spent on screens, aside from educational or work purposes, has increased significantly during the ongoing pandemic

The study was conducted online by The Harris Poll, and findings from the India segment of the research show that two in three Indians surveyed (66%) say they have become addicted to being online as a result of the pandemic.

“On average, adults in India surveyed spent 4.4 hours a day in front of screens, outside of work or educational time, and for many, it’s too much. Smartphones by far are the most common device Indian adults surveyed feel they are spending too much time on (84%),” said a release from NortonLifeLock, a global leader in consumer Cyber Safety. The new global study examined consumers’ at-home online behaviours.

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According to the release, the majority of Indian adults surveyed (74%) said that the amount of time they spend in front of a screen negatively impacts their physical health, while more than half (55%) said it negatively impacts their mental health. “76% say they are trying to limit their screen time by engaging in activities such as hiking or spending time with friends,” added the release from NortonLifeStock.

The survey among Indians also show a lack of trust in smart home devices and the companies that manufacture them. Around 2 in 5 or more Indian adults said they have decided against purchasing a smart home device due to security concerns (48%) or because of privacy concerns (40%).

“Similar proportions cite a lack of information about smart home devices (40%) and a lack of transparency from smart home device manufacturers about how they use consumer data (35%) as reasons for not purchasing a smart home device,” the release stated.

Ritesh Chopra, director Sales and field marketing, India & SAARC Countries, NortonLifeLock said that the pandemic has increased dependence on screens for activities that could otherwise have been done offline. “It is important for every individual, however, to find a healthy balance between their on-screen and off-screen time so that their health and, more importantly, their children’s health is not adversely impacted,” he added, commenting on the survey.

Among Indian adults who own a Wi-Fi router, 72% say they change their router password more than once a year, and 26% change the password monthly or more often, the study added.

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