In the wake of lockdown imposed in the country, people are spending nearly 5 hours a day on social media.
There has been a rise in the amount of time spent using smartphones, amid coronavirus lockdown. A recent study by BARC shows that people are surfing on social media for as much as 5 hours every day and binge-watching on over-the-top platforms for almost 4 hours daily.
“I cannot go out because of the lockdown; I can’t meet my friends, so all I have is my smartphone and the internet. I stay connected with my friends through frequent FaceTime calls. If that’s not enough, I scroll through Instagram and Snapchat to keep up with my friends,” said Muskaan Bagga, a college student.
The lockdown and physical social distancing have given rise to a new way of staying in touch, without spreading the virus—that is virtual. Apps like Zoom and Houseparty that were rarely used by a niche group of users have found millions of new members who now depend on their services to spend some time with their dear ones.
The sudden enforcement of strict measures by the government left many citizens stranded away from their families. “I couldn’t go back to my home before lockdown and now that I have to work from home, I am alone in my apartment all day long. The only way I have been keeping up with my family is through video calls. It is emotionally comforting to see them every day at least, in such difficult times.”, said Harsh Tripathy, an IT professional living in Bangalore.
Staying at home gives people limited resources to indulge in. Smartphones are giving the needed infotainment that people want in this time of crisis. They are watching cookery videos and making new recipes at home and also ordering essential items online to limit contact with the outside world to avoid getting infected.
“Video calling apps are helping people feel less lonely and stay connected. The smartphone is coming to aid people who don’t have immediate access to their families.
The PM also requested people to install the Aarogya Setu app to help in contact tracing of COVID-19 patients.
Even though smartphones are playing an integral role in helping us get through this pandemic, but people must make sure they are not overusing it and they should also spend some time pursuing their favorite hobbies to stay mentally healthy,” suggested Aditi V, a psychologist.
To not compromise with their mental health people need to use smartphones cautiously and keep track of the time they spend on smartphones.