Survey: S. Koreans spend more time using smartphones than eating

Posted on : 2015-09-23 16:23 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Digital entertainment makes up a large portion of smartphone use, particularly by younger people
 staff photographer)
staff photographer)

South Koreans use smartphone applications for more than two hours a day (not including phone calls and text messages), a recent survey found. Considering that the average time spent eating meals and snacks is 1 hour and 56 minutes a day (according to a 2014 lifestyle survey by Statistics Korea), South Koreans essentially spend more time using their smartphones than they do eating. An average of 52 minutes a day was spent on digital entertainment - including videos, music, and comics - while 30 minutes went into chatting applications.

On Sep. 22, Cheil DNA Center published the results of its analysis of around 200 million logs recording the use of around 70,000 applications by 4,442 smartphone users around the country from the middle of August to the middle of September.

Cheil DNA Center is an organization operated by Cheil Worldwide that is dedicated to analyzing big data. To facilitate its analysis of big data, the organization maintains a digital panel of around 8,000 individuals who have given the company permission to use their personal information. Data-collecting programs are installed on the computers of around 3,500 panel members and the mobile phones of around 4,500 panel members, allowing the company to collect and analyze data in real time.

This survey was composed of members of the mobile phone panel who were active users of their smartphones during the survey period.

In its analysis, the organization found that participants in the survey used smartphone applications for an average of 2 hours and 23 minutes a day. By age group, teenagers used smartphone applications the most, at 2 hours and 50 minutes a day.

The older the age group, the less time they tended to use smartphone applications. However, even the age group that spent the least amount of time on their smartphones - people who are 50 years old or above - used them for an average of 1 hour and 28 minutes a day, showing that there was significant smartphone use across all age groups.

In terms of application use, digital entertainment - including games, videos, music, and comics - accounted for an average of 52 minutes a day (36.7% of the total time). Despite the widespread perception that young people are the most likely to play smartphone games, people in their 30s and 40s were found to play the most games. In contrast, the preferred choice of entertainment for teenagers was videos and comics.

The survey found that smartphone users spend an average of 50 minutes a day (35.6%) on apps related to personal networks and communication - namely, chatting and social media apps. In particular, the average length of time spent on the chatting app used by the majority of smartphone users was more than 30 minutes, the most of any single app.

Searching for lifestyle tips, news, and other information took up an average of 27 minutes (19.4%). There was a tendency for older age groups to spend more time on this activity.

Smartphone users spent an average of four minutes a day on shopping applications. This is presumed to be because people gain product information through email or online searches and only use the app itself when they are actually buying a product.

The amount of time spent on educational apps and e-book readers was similar to shopping apps.

Smartphone users run apps an average of 83.7 times a day and use them for an average of 1 minute and 43 seconds each time they run them, according to the organization’s analysis.

The apps that users spent the most time on each time they ran them were games (5 minutes and 39 seconds), comics (4 minutes and 6 seconds), and education and e-books (4 minutes and 8 seconds).

“Since smartphones have now become a lifestyle platform, it is possible to learn about the interests and activities of consumers through the applications that they install and use. Analyzing the use of apps through big data allows us to analyze the lifestyle patterns of consumers in real time, which has considerable applications for marketing,” said Ji Hyeon-tak, director of the Cheil DNA Center.

By Kim Mi-young, staff reporter

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

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