Kenyans Are Addicted to Smartphones - Survey

(file photo).
16 September 2019

Nairobi — Move over substances, Kenyans have a new source of addiction, and its name is 'Smartphone'.

A survey by Deloitte describes smartphone use in the country as being 'out of control' with over two-thirds of respondents confessing that they use their smartphone more than they would like to.

According the survey, 77 percent of respondents believe they use their mobile phones too much while 55 percent believe their partners use their phones excessively.

Only 22 percent of parents believe their children use their phones too much.

The study, dubbed 2019 Global Consumer Survey: The Kenyan Cut, also finds that keeping data connectivity spend within a majority of Kenyans' budget also stands out as a daily challenge.

"We are now in a period where smartphones and smart devices are an integral part of our lives across all age groups and as we demand entertainment, knowledge and instant connection at an increasing pace, we will continue to explore and embrace this life-enhancing journey," says the study.

Such high numbers therefore mean that young adults accustomed to continually checking their cell phones may have anxiety triggers should they go even a single day without access to smartphones.

"Apps such as Instagram and YouTube are specifically designed to feed the user's interaction neediness, making it harder for users to downgrade the consumption of specific apps, even when they would like to."

Respondents of the study say they use their phones everywhere and are increasingly multi-tasking with their phones.

A substantial 48 percent of them use their phones while watching TV. "The smartphone allows us to improve our productivity significantly - for example, by using it while commuting on public transport."

However, it is also a significant source of distraction - 41 percent of the respondents indicate they continue to use their phones while talking to friends and family.

According to survey, the addiction is expected to continue growing owing to the increase in sophisticated algorithms to tune apps and websites to people's specific interests and contexts and their use of smartphones.

The company gathered data from approximately 1,000 survey respondents within Kenya, focusing on consumer behaviours, trends, and opinions for a broad range of wireless and mobility products and services.

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