Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Living in front of a computer screen

Children in front of computer screens
How much time do people spend in front of a computer screen? The 'Halifax Insurance Digital Home Index’ presents findings from an online survey by One Poll in January 2013 that included 2,500 adults aged 18 and over living in the UK. 

Not surprisingly  the survey data indicates that people spend a large amount of time in front of computer screens.
  • 73% of the participants would struggle to go one day without technology devices such as smartphones, laptops and MP3 players. 23% would feel ''uneasy or worried'', while 19% would feel concern about ''missing out''.
  • 74% check emails and social networks before starting work in the morning.
  • 25% check technology devices from their beds, and 10%  take theirs into the bathroom.
  • Each owns an average £4,164 worth of technology devices.
  • Almost one in 10 (9%) respondents use their phone during mealtimes - a figure that doubles for those aged 18-24. 
  • 53% of women use their laptop parallel  to watching television, compared to 43% of men.
  • 45% communicate via devices to speak with friends and family despite being in the same house.
This survey predicts that current children will spend an average of 25% of their non-working time in front of screens (not counting sleeping time). Dr Aric Sigman, psychologist, says: "As the amount of time spent looking at a screen or plugging in increases, the amount of time spent on direct eye-to-eye contact and developing real life relationships inevitably decreases. By the age of seven years, the average child born today will have spent one full year of 24 hour days watching screen technology; by the time they reach 80 they will have spent almost 18 years of 24 hour days watching non-work related screen technology. That's a quarter of their lives."

In a national study of over 2,000 young people, aged 8 to 18, researchers found that participants were able to squeeze the equivalent of 8.5 hours of electronic media into 6 chronological hours because of multitasking (or rather 'multi-device usage'). By the time Net Generation kids reach their twenties, the typical teenager has spent over 20,000 hours on the Internet and over 10,000 hours playing video games of some kind (Source: Digital game-based learning) [Read more here]. With devices like Google Glass and multi-device usage, time in front of computer screens might soon even exceed 100% of people's work and spare time).


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