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Survey: Our digital lives are more hectic than ever – almost half of Finns use their smartphones even on the toilet

Mobile phones and other devices have snuck into an increasing number of our everyday activities, our national survey reveals. The growing use of smart devices is also causing problems, but the solutions developed for alleviating them are seldom used.

Mobile phones and other mobile devices have become an inseparable part of the everyday lives of Finland’s adult population and crept into many everyday settings almost without us noticing. The average Finn uses their mobile for 3.5 hours every day.

Qvik’s survey examined the opinions and experiences of Finnish adults on everyday digital services. The survey focused on how digital services and the devices needed for their use are connected to everyday consumer behaviors.

The survey shows that, no matter what the situation, you are likely to find a mobile in the hand of the Finn. Nearly half (45%) of the respondents said that they often use their mobiles first thing in the morning, while almost as many (44%) reach for their phones just before going to bed.

Nearly a quarter (22%) also often take their smartphones into the toilet with them and roughly half (44%) of Finns reported doing so at least occasionally.

Every tenth Finn uses their mobile even while walking

Most people who took the survey (92%) use a smartphone every day. The phone is intertwined in their everyday routines and is frequently used while doing something else at the same time.

More than two thirds (68%) of the respondents use their phones on public transportation, while one in ten even does so while walking.

Approximately a quarter of Finns exercise with mobile in hand or within easy reach, while one in five admits to using mobile devices during meetings.

This poses unique challenges for application design and development according to Lassi A. Liikkanen, Director of Design and Insight at Qvik.

“Consumers can order products while jogging or between exercises at the gym, so services need to be super easy and quick to use. Consumers are more quality- and price-conscious than ever, and digital service designers need to rise to the challenge”, Liikkanen says.

Only a fraction use phone time limits

Whereas the growth of digital services makes many everyday tasks easier, the constant use of smart devices also involves risks. One of them is addiction.

According to our survey, nearly half (46 %) of respondents have sought to cut back on their use of digital services, such as games or social media, during the past year.

“People also have concerns about the screen time of others. Four out of ten (42%) respondents are worried about the excessive phone use of someone close to them”, Liikkanen says.

Likewise, four out of ten Finns have not limited their smartphone use with private rules or the device’s built-in time limit features. Only one in twenty (5%) Finns uses the time limit functions offered by smart devices.

“Built-in time limit functions are an easy way to make sure that your smart device does not eat up too much of your day. These features usually work better than private decisions and mental agreements, which are all too easy to slip from”, Liikkanen says.

Qvik charted the everyday digital lives of Finns with a national survey in April. The electronic survey was taken by 1,240 people aged 18–75. The sample is representative of Finland’s adult population. The survey was implemented in cooperation with research company Cint.

Download the report

Find out how Finns use digital services. Report is also available in Finnish.
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