Pandemic side effect: Two out of every three Indians addicted to being online, says report by computer security firm

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The COVID-19 pandemic has left two out of every three Indians addicted to being online, says a report released on August 24.

According to the 2021 Norton Cyber Safety Insights report by consumer security company NortonLifeLock, adults in India are spending 4.4 hours a day on an average in front of screens, apart from the time they spend online for work or educational purposes. The report is based on an online survey of more than 1,000 Indian adults conducted by the Harris Poll.

About eight in 10 (82 per cent) respondents said that the amount of time they spent in front of screens, in addition to the time spent for educational or work purposes, has increased significantly during the pandemic.

The survey also found that most of the online activity is done over smartphones, with 84 per cent adults surveyed saying they are spending too much time on smartphones.

Another interesting finding from the survey is the adverse effect on physical and mental health due to excessive online presence. The majority of adults (74 per cent) claimed that the amount of time they spend in front of a screen negatively impacted their physical health, while more than half (55 per cent) said it negatively impacted their mental health.

Ritesh Chopra, NortonLifeLock’s Director, India & SAARC Countries, said in a statement: “It is understandable that the pandemic has increased our dependence on screens for activities that could otherwise have been done offline. It is important for every individual, however, to find a healthy balance between their on-screen and off-screen time so that their health and, more importantly, their children’s health is not adversely impacted.”

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