Digital Habits During Isolation

In today’s times of quarantines and lockdowns, our digital habits during isolation have changed. Without restaurants to go and eat at or movie theaters to spend our time in, Americans are spending way more time online.

While people want to keep themselves as entertained as they can, there has been a surprising decrease in phone and app usage. This could be due to all the time we are spending at home, close to our computers. Why use a smaller screen and keyboard when you have a bigger one right next to you? Popular websites that also have their own popular apps have experienced this decrease. Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube have all seen user numbers on their phone apps slow down or decrease, while their website usage has grown. This might be one of the largest changes in our digital habits since isolation.

Analysis of Digital Habits During Lockdown

As you can see, website traffic for all three has significantly increased recently, causing a large upward spike. In contrast, app usage for these three has been anything but predictable. App usage for Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube spiked toward the beginning of lockdowns and quarantines, but has taken a significant dip recently. This could be due to the initial lockdown, causing people to cling on to habits of constantly checking their phone. Recently, our digital habits during isolation have shifted to using popular apps rather than websites. Although we have a lot more free time for screens, people are preferring using their laptops rather than their phones. 

We have now become dependent on services that allow us to learn and work from home. Our schools and work areas have been moved to our bedrooms and living rooms. This has had another huge impact on our digital habits during isolation. For example, class time and meetings are happening on Zoom, Google Hangouts and Microsoft Teams. It will be incredibly interesting to see how our digital habits continue to change as we slowly begin to reintegrate into society.