The sale and usage of the smartphone is increasing in India and it has some adverse effects on the lives of users who use them excessively. A new research conducted by Aligarh Muslim University shows data related to the smartphone usage. Titled as "Smartphone Dependency, Hedonism and Purchase Behavior: Implications for Digital India Initiatives" it was funded by Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi.
According to a report on News18, university students check their smartphone 150 times in a day on an average. The reasons for checking their smartphones include anxiety and fear of missing out on information. It mentions that only 26 percent of the respondents use their smartphones for calling.
Apart from using a smartphone to place calls, it is also used for checking social networking sites, searching on Google and watching movies on YouTube. The research highlights that 14 percent of the surveyed people used smartphones for less than three hours in a day, 63 percent use smartphone for 4 and 7 hours whereas 23 percent use smartphones for more than 8 hours daily.
Dr Mohammed Naved Khan and Obaidur Rahman were the project director and co-researcher of the study which covered 200 students from 20 central universities.
The project director who is also an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Management Studies and Research, Aligarh Muslim University said "The study intends to fill the existing research gap in the understanding of various facets of smartphone dependency in the University students in India.” He also added that the behaviour study would "Explore the relationship between hedonism (entertainment), habit, social influences, social needs, convenience and dependency on the purchase behaviour of the university students in India."
Talking about the implication of the study on government initiatives, the project director said that since the Digital India Program is dependent on smartphones, it is important that the usage and dependency of smartphones are properly understood and utilised to achieve the objectives of the initiative. He also added that the policy framers are concerned about the low digital literacy despite increase in smartphone penetration and the internet user base.
The report mentions that the study can be useful for Digital India initiatives such as Broadband Highways, E-governance, Electronic Manufacturing, Universal Access to Phones, e-Kranti, IT for Jobs, Public Internet Access Programs, Information for All and Early Harvest Programs .
An older report also suggested that Indians are spending 90 percent of their time online. India is followed by Indonesia with 87 percent usage, Mexico at 80 percent and Argentina at 77 percent.