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Smartphone use and well-being in Pakistan: Comparing the effect of self-reported and actual smartphone use


Ejaz, Waqas; Altay, Sacha; Naeem, Ghazala (2023). Smartphone use and well-being in Pakistan: Comparing the effect of self-reported and actual smartphone use. Digital Health, 9:1-12.

Abstract

Objective Past work has shown that smartphone use has negative effects on well-being. Yet, most evidence relies on self-reported measures of smartphone use and comes from Western democracies. We examined the relationship between both self-reported and actual smartphone use and well-being in Pakistan, a country that is under-researched in the Global South. Additionally, we investigated the moderating effect of the fear of missing out (FoMO). Methods We conducted an online survey among 427 Pakistani citizens. Participants reported their smartphone use and well-being (i.e., levels of depression, loneliness, and life satisfaction). At the end of the survey, participants were asked to upload screenshots of their respective ‘Screen Time’ (for iOS) or ‘Digital Well-being’ (for Android) apps, which we used to measure their actual smartphone use. Results We found a moderate association between self-reported and actual smartphone use ( r = .36); on average, participants underreported their daily smartphone use by 11 min. Actual smartphone use was negatively associated with well-being, while self-reported use showed no statistically significant association. FoMO was positively associated with actual smartphone use but not with self-reported use. Finally, FoMO moderated the relationship between self-reported use and well-being. Conclusion Our findings show that the relationship between smartphone use and well-being depends on how smartphone use is measured and is moderated by FoMO. Moreover, we find that mobile data donation is viable in Pakistan, which should encourage future research to use it as a complement to self-reported media use more often.

Abstract

Objective Past work has shown that smartphone use has negative effects on well-being. Yet, most evidence relies on self-reported measures of smartphone use and comes from Western democracies. We examined the relationship between both self-reported and actual smartphone use and well-being in Pakistan, a country that is under-researched in the Global South. Additionally, we investigated the moderating effect of the fear of missing out (FoMO). Methods We conducted an online survey among 427 Pakistani citizens. Participants reported their smartphone use and well-being (i.e., levels of depression, loneliness, and life satisfaction). At the end of the survey, participants were asked to upload screenshots of their respective ‘Screen Time’ (for iOS) or ‘Digital Well-being’ (for Android) apps, which we used to measure their actual smartphone use. Results We found a moderate association between self-reported and actual smartphone use ( r = .36); on average, participants underreported their daily smartphone use by 11 min. Actual smartphone use was negatively associated with well-being, while self-reported use showed no statistically significant association. FoMO was positively associated with actual smartphone use but not with self-reported use. Finally, FoMO moderated the relationship between self-reported use and well-being. Conclusion Our findings show that the relationship between smartphone use and well-being depends on how smartphone use is measured and is moderated by FoMO. Moreover, we find that mobile data donation is viable in Pakistan, which should encourage future research to use it as a complement to self-reported media use more often.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Health Policy
Health Sciences > Health Informatics
Physical Sciences > Computer Science Applications
Health Sciences > Health Information Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:Mobile data donation, well-being, actual smartphone use, Pakistan, self-reported smartphone use, FoMO
Language:English
Date:12 July 2023
Deposited On:04 Jan 2024 09:55
Last Modified:31 Mar 2024 01:36
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN:2055-2076
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/20552076231186075
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)