Screen struck: Dangers of increased screen time

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August 26, 2021 2:30 AM

The pandemic drove two in three Indian adults to online addiction, says a NortonLifeLock study

Indians surveyed show a lack of trust in smart home devices and/ or the companies that manufacture them.Indians surveyed show a lack of trust in smart home devices and/ or the companies that manufacture them.

The pandemic has increased our dependence on screens for activities that could otherwise have been done offline. A new study released by NortonLifeLock, examining consumers’ at-home online behaviours, show that two in three Indians surveyed (66%) have become addicted to being online as a result of the pandemic. In the study conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 1,000 Indian adults, eight in 10 (82%) said that the amount of time they spent on screens, aside from educational or work purposes, has increased significantly during the Covid-19 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 feel they are spending too much time on (84%).

The majority of Indian adults surveyed (74%) agree that the amount of time they spend in front of a screen negatively impacts their physical health, while more than half (55%) say it negatively impacts their mental health, with 76% trying to limit their screen time by engaging in activities such as hiking or spending time with friends. “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,” said Ritesh Chopra, director, Sales and Field Marketing, India & Saarc Countries, NortonLifeLock.

Indians surveyed show a lack of trust in smart home devices and/ or the companies that manufacture them. While 48% of those surveyed decided against purchasing a smart home device due to security concerns, for 40% it was due to privacy concerns. 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%) are other reasons for not purchasing a smart home device.

While Indian adults surveyed generally describe smart home devices as helpful (57%) or convenient (49%), some find them to be a security risk (25%) and complicated (19%).

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