phat 24(1):

Research Article

Is There Any Relation Between Smartphone Usage and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic?: A Study by Exploring Two Objective App Usage Datasets

Download44 downloads
  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eetpht.9.3663,
        author={Sabbir Ahmed and Syeda Shabnam Khan and Nova Ahmed},
        title={Is There Any Relation Between Smartphone Usage and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic?: A Study by Exploring Two Objective App Usage Datasets},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Pervasive Health and Technology},
        volume={9},
        number={1},
        publisher={EAI},
        journal_a={PHAT},
        year={2023},
        month={8},
        keywords={Smartphone, Loneliness, Students, App categories, Social Media, Communication, Books apps, Education apps},
        doi={10.4108/eetpht.9.3663}
    }
    
  • Sabbir Ahmed
    Syeda Shabnam Khan
    Nova Ahmed
    Year: 2023
    Is There Any Relation Between Smartphone Usage and Loneliness During the COVID-19 Pandemic?: A Study by Exploring Two Objective App Usage Datasets
    PHAT
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eetpht.9.3663
Sabbir Ahmed1,*, Syeda Shabnam Khan1, Nova Ahmed1
  • 1: North South University
*Contact email: msg2sabbir@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Though smartphone is popular and loneliness is higher among the youth, in low-and-middle income countries (LMICs) such as Bangladesh, the relation of loneliness with actual app usage is unexplored amid pandemic. Also, the studies conducted in developed countries are limited by exploration of some app categories. METHODS: We conducted two studies in Bangladesh: in 2020 (N1=100) and 2021 (N2=105). We collected participant’s ULS-8 score and 7 days’ actual app usage. We extracted app usage behavioral data from 1.69 million events and did semi-partial and partial correlation analyses. RESULTS: Our analysis did not present any significant relation which may indicate a negative impact on loneliness. However, we found higher usage of Social Media, Communication, Education, Books, and Shopping apps and higher entropy of Browser apps had significant (q<.05) relation with lower loneliness. CONCLUSION: Smartphone may not negatively impact loneliness. Instead, some app categories can play a role to mitigate loneliness.