In short: A new report on personal device usage provides some interesting insights including more than one-quarter of those aged between 25 and 54 would rather go without seeing their partner for twenty four hours than their smartphone. With the number increasing to over one-third (35-percent) when just the responses from those aged between 55 and 64 are used. In a similar way, a percentage of people would also rather give up coffee, heat and their salary before their smartphone.
Background: The report was conducted by the Canadian electric services company, BC Hydro and was initially designed to highlight the issue of rising power consumption in the home. The study itself was relevant to responses provided by 400 British Columbians, aged 18 years and over, during August, 2018. Besides the willingness to skip the spouse for a day, the results also found almost one-third of those aged between 18 and 24 would rather sacrifice heating on a cold day than their smartphone. In addition, coffee also proved to be less important to some users with a majority (65-percent) of people stating they would prefer to go without coffee in the morning than their smartphones, and even money seemed to have a limited effect on deterring smartphone usage with the report finding that more than one-quarter of those aged 18 to 24 would rather work for free than avoid using their smartphone for one day. Additional findings from the study included those surveyed typically spending 4.7 hours per day on their smartphone, with one-firth of respondents stating they routinely sleep with their smartphone in bed.
Impact: Studies like this do add further weight to the suggestion smartphone addiction is on the rise and especially in terms of younger users who have seemed to consistently respond in greater numbers to the questions asked in this report. Although the numbers were high enough for other age groups as well highlighting this is an issue which affects all ages to some degree. Of course, this also acts as evidence of just how important smartphones have become to users, and not only to stay connected with friends and family, but just to stay connected in general. With smartphones continuously gaining in their ability to serve up information, it’s likely more reports like this will come through in the future, and likely highlighting even greater and deeper relationships between devices and their owners.