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Smartphone usage in the 21st century: who is active on WhatsApp?

Montag C, Błaszkiewicz K, Sariyska R, Lachmann B, Andone I, Trendafilov B, Eibes M, Markowetz A - BMC Res Notes (2015)

Bottom Line: Females used WhatsApp for significantly longer periods of time than males and younger age was associated with longer duration of WhatsApp use.While the personality trait Extraversion was positively associated with daily WhatsApp use, Conscientiousness showed an inverse correlation with the length of daily WhatsApp use.Given the length of daily smartphone and WhatsApp usage, more studies need to be conducted to better understand smartphone usage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany. christian.montag@uni-ulm.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mounting evidence shows that smartphone usage heavily disrupts our work life and social activities. Moreover, it is possible that overuse could resemble addictive tendencies. A key contributing factor to smartphone overuse seems to be usage of the messaging application WhatsApp. Although WhatsApp is one of the most commonly used communication applications on smartphones, research in this area is scarce. Given the huge societal debate on the impact of smartphone usage on our daily lives, the present study undertook a large-scale investigation in order to provide numbers on smartphone usage generally-and use of WhatsApp in particular, with the aim of providing a basis for a scientific debate.

Methods: In a large sample of N = 2,418 users, we recorded WhatsApp behaviour over a 4 week period.

Results: Our data show that use of WhatsApp accounted for 19.83% (= 32.11 min) of all smartphone behaviour (compare: Facebook only 9.38% = 15.19 min). The mean of general daily smartphone usage was 161.95 min. Females used WhatsApp for significantly longer periods of time than males and younger age was associated with longer duration of WhatsApp use. While the personality trait Extraversion was positively associated with daily WhatsApp use, Conscientiousness showed an inverse correlation with the length of daily WhatsApp use.

Conclusions: The numbers on smartphone usage in the present study show that the smartphone dominates our daily life. In particular WhatsApp is a driving force, here. Given the length of daily smartphone and WhatsApp usage, more studies need to be conducted to better understand smartphone usage.

No MeSH data available.


Distribution of participants with respect to WhatsApp usage (left) in minutes and daily smartphone usage (right).
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Fig1: Distribution of participants with respect to WhatsApp usage (left) in minutes and daily smartphone usage (right).

Mentions: The mean of typical daily smartphone usage was 161.95 min (SD = 83.36). The mean of typical daily WhatsApp usage was 32.11 min (SD = 35.36). Thus, WhatsApp alone accounted for about 20% (19.83%) of typical daily smartphone use in the present sample. Gender strongly influenced WhatsApp usage (F(1,2416) = 82.35, p < .001), but not general smartphone usage (F(1,2416) = 2.56, p = .11). Of note, non-parametric testing revealed comparable results (U = 514038,00, p < .001) for WhatsApp usage (a non normally distributed variable, as depicted in Fig. 1). Females used WhatsApp for 40.08 min (SD = 36.88) each day. In contrast, males used WhatsApp only for 26.94 min (SD = 33.34) per day. Education was negatively associated with daily smartphone usage (rho = −.20, p < .001), but not significantly associated with WhatsApp usage (rho = −.03, p = .22). Age was not associated with general daily smartphone usage (r = −.01, p = .56), but was inversely linked to daily WhatsApp usage (r = −.33, p < .001; compared with rho = −.41, p < .001). Figure 1 reveals that in contrast to “daily smartphone usage” the variable “daily WhatsApp usage” has a skewed distribution. Thus, we also report statistical results from non-parametric testing for this variable.Fig. 1


Smartphone usage in the 21st century: who is active on WhatsApp?

Montag C, Błaszkiewicz K, Sariyska R, Lachmann B, Andone I, Trendafilov B, Eibes M, Markowetz A - BMC Res Notes (2015)

Distribution of participants with respect to WhatsApp usage (left) in minutes and daily smartphone usage (right).
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4522968&req=5

Fig1: Distribution of participants with respect to WhatsApp usage (left) in minutes and daily smartphone usage (right).
Mentions: The mean of typical daily smartphone usage was 161.95 min (SD = 83.36). The mean of typical daily WhatsApp usage was 32.11 min (SD = 35.36). Thus, WhatsApp alone accounted for about 20% (19.83%) of typical daily smartphone use in the present sample. Gender strongly influenced WhatsApp usage (F(1,2416) = 82.35, p < .001), but not general smartphone usage (F(1,2416) = 2.56, p = .11). Of note, non-parametric testing revealed comparable results (U = 514038,00, p < .001) for WhatsApp usage (a non normally distributed variable, as depicted in Fig. 1). Females used WhatsApp for 40.08 min (SD = 36.88) each day. In contrast, males used WhatsApp only for 26.94 min (SD = 33.34) per day. Education was negatively associated with daily smartphone usage (rho = −.20, p < .001), but not significantly associated with WhatsApp usage (rho = −.03, p = .22). Age was not associated with general daily smartphone usage (r = −.01, p = .56), but was inversely linked to daily WhatsApp usage (r = −.33, p < .001; compared with rho = −.41, p < .001). Figure 1 reveals that in contrast to “daily smartphone usage” the variable “daily WhatsApp usage” has a skewed distribution. Thus, we also report statistical results from non-parametric testing for this variable.Fig. 1

Bottom Line: Females used WhatsApp for significantly longer periods of time than males and younger age was associated with longer duration of WhatsApp use.While the personality trait Extraversion was positively associated with daily WhatsApp use, Conscientiousness showed an inverse correlation with the length of daily WhatsApp use.Given the length of daily smartphone and WhatsApp usage, more studies need to be conducted to better understand smartphone usage.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany. christian.montag@uni-ulm.de.

ABSTRACT

Background: Mounting evidence shows that smartphone usage heavily disrupts our work life and social activities. Moreover, it is possible that overuse could resemble addictive tendencies. A key contributing factor to smartphone overuse seems to be usage of the messaging application WhatsApp. Although WhatsApp is one of the most commonly used communication applications on smartphones, research in this area is scarce. Given the huge societal debate on the impact of smartphone usage on our daily lives, the present study undertook a large-scale investigation in order to provide numbers on smartphone usage generally-and use of WhatsApp in particular, with the aim of providing a basis for a scientific debate.

Methods: In a large sample of N = 2,418 users, we recorded WhatsApp behaviour over a 4 week period.

Results: Our data show that use of WhatsApp accounted for 19.83% (= 32.11 min) of all smartphone behaviour (compare: Facebook only 9.38% = 15.19 min). The mean of general daily smartphone usage was 161.95 min. Females used WhatsApp for significantly longer periods of time than males and younger age was associated with longer duration of WhatsApp use. While the personality trait Extraversion was positively associated with daily WhatsApp use, Conscientiousness showed an inverse correlation with the length of daily WhatsApp use.

Conclusions: The numbers on smartphone usage in the present study show that the smartphone dominates our daily life. In particular WhatsApp is a driving force, here. Given the length of daily smartphone and WhatsApp usage, more studies need to be conducted to better understand smartphone usage.

No MeSH data available.