As the world adjusts to a post-pandemic reality dominated by technology, public concerns about the dangers of over-consumption are growing. According to a large new survey by the Ithra Institute, more than one in two (56%) in South Asia is concerned. On the impact of internet and smartphone use on their health.
According to the Ithra survey, the vast majority (88%) of respondents worldwide agree that technology can be a huge force for progress, with key benefits including access to news, connectivity, and freedom, and 74% of South Asians say technology plays a role More pivotal as it helps create and generate career opportunities, the study in partnership with Echoes illustrates concrete concerns about well-being.
Many of these benefits have been highlighted by the COVID-19 outbreak, with 64% of the global audience giving credit to technology as it helped fight the pandemic, however, the result is that almost everyone (91%) is spending more time online as a result.
Despite this inherent positivity, Ithra’s findings highlight significant concerns about the harmful effects of unfettered access. In relation to relationships, 42% of respondents believe technology reduces time spent with loved ones, and more than a third (37%). They blame her for blurring the lines between work and social life.
Fifty-five percent of South Asians said they would prefer to live without a boyfriend over a cell phone, and Ethra said that parenting is affected as well, with 44 percent of people with children admitting to allowing them to use a computer or smartphone without supervision.
Turning to the impact of technology on health, half of the people (44%) said they are anxious, and respondents in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia appear to be very worried, with 74% and 56%, respectively, fearing the negative consequences of the Internet on well-being, compared to only 27% in Europe and Central Asia.
Consistent with the group's increased use of devices, young people experience more physical symptoms than older adults: 50% of Generation Z respondents complain of fatigue, lack of sleep, and headaches as a result of digital consumption.
Nearly a third (60%) of respondents in South Asia spend more time online than they would like. 41% of global respondents admit that they experience withdrawal symptoms without access to their devices, and sleep deprivation is also a major problem, with 51% of respondents missing sleep each week, and one in four people per day, due to technology use.