The data can be alarming: young people between 20 and 26 years old spend a daily average of 381 minutes connected to the internet and 244 minutes to the mobile phone. Or what is the same: six hours and 35 minutes of internet connection and four hours hooked up to the mobile. On the opposite side are the range that goes from 56 to 70 years, which declares spending 246 minutes, more than four hours, entangled with the internet, and 124 minutes, that is, two hours, delivered to the mobile phone. The average among all ages, according to the Digital 2021 report, is 318 minutes, in the case of men, of internet connection, and 167 minutes dedicated to the mobile phone. In the case of women, online exposure is slightly reduced to 313 minutes while mobile connection increases to 181 minutes.
As a result of the pandemic, 77% of Spaniards recognize that their digital connection time has increased, because the way of working, studying and communicating has changed, which entails the full integration of the digital world. Experts point out that the health crisis has accelerated this revolution by five years.
Far from disdaining all these technological advances, for the vast majority they have generated a great benefit in their personal lives, but above all because the fact of being connected, is valued above all by people between 56 and 70 years of age, has allowed them to be in contact with loved ones during the health crisis. Another benefit that stands out, as reflected by 41% of those surveyed in a report on Health and new digital habits, carried out by the Mapfre Foundation and the Salvetti Llombart research institute, and in which 2,500 people have participated, is the fact that to be able to make purchases and procedures (39%) from anywhere and without travel (34%). This means, 31% believe, buying time for oneself, polluting less (27%) and reconciling more (22%).
On the other hand, the report aims to put on the table the debate on what is considered digital health, the one that measures the responsible use of technology and today is more important than before the pandemic. The impact of new digital habits on health shows a more positive than negative balance. However, due to the increase in the use of devices, the degree of awareness has also grown to prevent certain risks linked to digitization.
In this sense, the digital health of Spaniards worsened during the pandemic, especially in those under 35 years of age, they are the most hyper-connected, and it is the households with a higher income those that consider that they establish healthy norms for the use of technology.
The study shows that 81% of Spaniards consider it important to have good digital health, despite the fact that 54% use digital channels to communicate to a greater extent than before 2020 and the use of social networks has grown by 37% .
Online purchases also increased during the pandemic, by 46%, as well as the management of banking procedures and with the administration, a 45% more. For its part, the consumption of audiovisual content through platforms such as Netflix or HBO, did so by 53%. Teleworking also rose 33%.
Among the most frequent risks, visual fatigue stands out, 44%, loss of physical contact, social isolation and lack of relationship with the real world, 39%. The absence of recognition of true news or fake news, 39%, while the constant connection to work is 31%. In addition, the lack of security in the network is 32% and addiction to social networks accounts for 31%.
For this reason, experts recommend not abusing digital devices and limiting their use among the little ones, reserving moments for disconnection, fostering a balance between the real and the virtual, as well as checking that the sources of information are reliable and learn to navigate safely.