Monday, April 15, 2024

Most Pinoys spend at least 5 hours a day on their phones: report

In a recently-launched report, Norway-based international telecommunications company Telenor found that Filipinos continue to outpace the rest of Asia not just in terms of social media use but also in terms of mobile usage in general.

Telenor Asia’s new “Digital Lives Decoded” study surveyed over 8,000 mobile Internet users in July 2022 across the Philippines as well as in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The survey found that, by and large, Asians see their mobile phones in a positive light as indispensable tools for daily living.

Overall, 93% of those polled across Asia agreed that having a cell phone makes their lives better. Women are more optimistic about the improvement in their quality of life than men are; 64% of women make this claim, compared to 52% of men.

“It is often reported that mobile usage comes between people, distracting users from those around them and damaging relationships and interpersonal communication skills. However, this study dispels that notion,” said Telenor Asia head Jørgen Rostrup.

“Compared to before the pandemic, mobile data usage has more than doubled in most Asian markets, reshaping how we communicate at work and at home. Interestingly, this survey shows that people want the changes in digital use and their daily lives to stay. In fact, they continue to immerse themselves in a digital world despite rules on travel and social interaction being relaxed,” he added.

In the Philippines, 93% of respondents believe that mobile phones improve their quality of life by strengthening relationships, keeping them better informed, and making them more productive and efficient. But more than other Asians, over one in four Filipinos or 29% of local respondents said that they are never without their mobile phones.

Filipinos also spend the most time on their phones compared to other countries in Asia: 73% of Filipinos surveyed admitted to spending at least five hours a day on their mobiles, at par with Indonesia. Much of this usage has been spurred by the pandemic, according to the researchers.

Also, unsurprisingly, the Philippines is still the reigning champion of social media usage, with 70% of respondents admitting to using their devices for social networking on a daily basis.

Although several factors were cited as having contributed to the rise in positive perception and widespread use of mobile phones, financial inclusion is of particular importance: 92% of respondents across Asia said mobile technology has improved their access to financial services. Over half or 57% of respondents believed that their financial access has “significantly improved.”

“As mobile connectivity becomes even more fundamental to our daily lives, lacking the right skills and awareness, including to navigate safety and privacy issues, or being off the grid can severely restrict access to education, healthcare, economic and employment opportunities. We need to better understand digital gaps, and how to bridge them, as well as the carbon footprint of our online habits, as we work together to create a future where mobile connectivity is empowering and sustainable for all,” Rostrup explained.

The full report can be found here.

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