As the Coronavirus pandemic spread through the world, nation after nation went into lockdown mode trying to flatten the curve of the virus’ infections. In India, that happened starting from 25 March, when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown in order to slow the rate of spread of the disease.
That announcement meant that people, including yours truly, found themselves stuck at home all day long, for days on end. Now, in some cases, people are working from home, such as the Beebom team. But even so, we just have a lot of free time on our hands these days, and as it turns out, we’re spending most of it on our smartphones.
Around a week ago, we enquired of you people on Twitter about your smartphone usage patterns, and well, the results were mostly predictable, and in some cases, kind of shocking.
Since we're all quarantined at home and there's nothing much to do, it's natural that we're all hooked up on our phones. So, how does your smartphone usage look like? Share screenshots! 📱#StayHomeStaySafe #LockdownNow
— Beebom (@beebomco) March 23, 2020
So, I took a total of 17 responses to our tweet, and the average time I found most people spending on their phones these days was over 9 hours! Like I said, that’s the average. Obviously there were a lot of people spending around 3 to 5 hours on their phones — something I consider normal usage. Then there were people who spent way way more. Check out these tweets:
not normal pic.twitter.com/BLRJKwJbY2
— Amber Singh (@AmberSingh07) March 23, 2020
This was my Sunday pic.twitter.com/n0urcQ8rBS
— Adizz (@aditya_s36) March 23, 2020
This is the best I can do pic.twitter.com/3z48DpOvrA
— NthMetal (@MetalNth) March 23, 2020
What are We Doing?
As interested as I was to see the amount of time you guys have been spending on your smartphones these days, I was also interested in seeing what it is you’ve been spending that time on. Turns out, it is Instagram, YouTube, Netflix, and PUBG Mobile, for the most part.
So pretty much what we usually do anyway. Plus, with screen time for apps like Netflix, and YouTube spiking like this, it’s no wonder these streaming services have to lower their stream quality in order to reduce the stress on the network in the country.
Personally, I don’t usually like watching a lot of videos on my phone, which is probably why my smartphone usage isn’t nearly as high as some of the responses we got on our tweet. In fact, this (screenshot below) is the highest it’s been so far. Not sure if I should be proud or not, though. Sounds like screen time is the new bragging rights of the internet.
Anyway, most of my usual day is spent working, mostly on Edge, which is what you can see here from the Screen Time reports from my MacBook Pro.
Clearly, I’m not as addicted to my phone as I thought I was. Plus there’s the fact that I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Tekken 7, COD:MW, and FIFA on my PS4 these days, so maybe it’s a good thing Sony doesn’t have a Screen Time setting on the console.
What Else Can You Do?
Anyway, what are you guys doing to spend the time while we’re all in lockdown? Scrolling endlessly through the Instagram feed? If so, might I suggest taking a look at things like fitness apps from Adidas and Nike which were recently made free, or taking up new things to learn from places like Udemy, or Coursera. I’ve also been spending time learning the Ukulele, so how about a new instrument? There’s a lot we can do, and I don’t think we should be spending all of our quarantine days looking at these smartphone screens.
That’s still your call though, and whatever you decide to do, just make sure you’re washing your hands frequently, not going out unless absolutely necessary, and following the protocols of social distancing even when you are out to get groceries or something. Stay safe out there, and let’s get through this.