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Living a life in this digital world

Nov 20. 2015
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By ASINA PORNWASIN
@lekasina

7,605 Viewed

STUDIES show that Thais are addicted to the Internet, being the heaviest users of social media in Southeast Asia and more attached to their mobiles than anyone else in the Asia-Pacific region.
The average Thai spends 4.2 hours a day connected to the Net on their mobile devices, according to Connected Life, a study conducted by TNS market research firm, which got feedback from more than 60,000 Internet users worldwide. Nearly 96 per cent of the Thai population now own a smartphone, up from 80 per cent last year. 
Millennials (aged 16-30) in Thailand prioritise social-media over other forms of media, with 88 per cent accessing it daily. However, this age group is still slow in adopting new buying methods, such as mobile payments, with only 10 per cent ever opting for this. They also continue consuming media through traditional devices, like TV and radio, though a fair bit less than previous generations. 
In today’s fragmented media landscape, millennials also rely on different platforms of communication. More than eight in 10 of 16-30 year olds use instant messaging every day and spend up to two hours a day watching video on-demand and TV shows on the Net. 
For older Internet-savvy consumers, traditional media habits still hold strong, with the 46-65 age group spending 2.3 hours per day watching TV, reading papers and listening to the radio – half an hour more than the average millennial. However, older consumers have become more of a shifting target as they have started opting for online platforms on a more regular basis. The 46 to 65-year-olds spend up to two hours a day on their phones. 
 
Multi-screening a new norm
Meanwhile, the Facebook CrossMedia Research study conducted by Millward Brown showed that using multiple screens has become a new norm for many. 
It also shows that Southeast Asians use several devices, spending up to 173 minutes on smartphones, compared to 147 minutes across the globe; 129 minutes on laptops (108 minutes elsewhere); 97 minutes on tablets (50 minutes elsewhere); and 94 minutes watching TV, versus the global average of 113 minutes. 
The study claims that Thais spend more time on Facebook, with 96 per cent of Internet users signed up to the social-media platform. In the region, Thais spend an average of 2 hours and 35 minutes on Facebook a day, to reconnect with old friends and colleagues (78 per cent); to communicate (74 per cent); to share opinions (69 per cent); and to search for brand information (65 per cent). 
 
Worst Internet habits
A recent survey on the “Worst Internet Habits” commissioned by Telenor Group found that most of the Thais surveyed (78 per cent) admit to being “Internet addicts”, which is higher than the regional average of 67 per cent. Also on average, Thais have been found to spend about 5 hours on the Net daily, compared to Singapore at 4.38 hours, Malaysia at 4.18 hours and India at 3.35 hours.
The survey also found the top five most annoying things Thais do on the Net, namely using profanity, spreading false rumours, online game invites, trolling or posting offensive comments in order to elicit angry responses and sharing inappropriate content. 
Of course, the users also admitted to posting pictures of food, complaints, sharing content about cats, as well as poor spelling and grammar. Women overall were found to be more likely to post pictures of food, while men were found to be bigger complainers. However, both genders were equally at fault for being negligent of their spelling and grammar.
 
Happier when taking a break
Denmark’s Happiness Research Institute recently conducted an experiment on Facebook to find out how social media affects the quality of our lives. The study was conducted on 1,095 people in Denmark, who were split into two control groups – those who continued using Facebook as normal and those who were barred from Facebook for an entire week. 
After a week they were asked to evaluate their lives again and the result showed those who stayed away from Facebook reported a significantly higher level of life satisfaction, experienced less concentration difficulties and felt they wasted their time less – they were happier! 

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