Perspectives

Smartphones are useful but also cause concern

Initial findings from the Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2018

The smartphone is by our side throughout the day and makes countless things easier. However, many people find that they and their friends and family use their smartphones too often and are easily distracted. The tech industry is now endeavouring to help users to make more sensible use of their phones.

According to our July 2018 survey of 1,000 individuals in Switzerland, 48 per cent of mobile phone owners think that they spend too much time on their smartphones. In the 18-34 age group, this figure rises to two-thirds. Among all women, 51% said that they used their smartphones too often, and 45% of men felt the same.

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People who use their smartphones too often

Disturbance of sleep pattern

Almost a quarter of respondents say they feel a constant need to look at their smartphones, and the same percentage feel distracted from their tasks by their phones, both at home and in the workplace. A fifth of those polled even go to sleep in the evening due to excessive smartphone use, and one in twenty wake up in the night to look at them.

Mobile phone use also has a negative impact on personal relationships at home. For fifteen per cent of respondents, it causes them to neglect family and friends.

Some say that it is causing physical problems: six per cent have experienced problems with their eyesight at least once, and five per cent have suffered headaches or aching fingers.

Limit use

Of those who use their phones excessively, more than four-fifths admit that they would like to spend less time on them. But almost a quarter have failed in their attempts to limit their use.

Respondents were also critical about phone use in their domestic environment: 52 per cent of parents think that their children spend too much time looking at their screens, and 43 per cent think the same about their partners.

Software and hardware manufacturers have seen which way the wind is blowing and are aware of the potentially negative effects of their devices. So, they have taken decisive action and provided people with monitoring instruments so that they can be more aware of their actions and limit use if necessary.

Michael Grampp, Research Lead at Deloitte Switzerland

We are living an increasing proportion of our lives on our smartphones – including dealing with customers at work. At the same time, however, people don't want to do this. So, companies must devote more energy to thinking about how they interact with customers. Intuitive self-learning apps with a clear benefit for the customer will be at the forefront in the battle for precious time.

Björnar Jensen, Managing Partner Consultant

We encourage flexible working in terms of time and location, so everyone at Deloitte is given a modern smartphone. In addition, we enable our employees to work independently and responsibly with their phones.

Anna Samanta, Managing Partner Talent

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