Aim: To evaluate the change in the quality of student's life, mindset, and their varied addiction levels before and during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Materials and methods: This survey was conducted among the student community involving 487 participants from various courses. The questions were structured in a multiple-choice format and the questionnaire was circulated among the student body through various online forums using Google Forms. The questionnaire consisted of 19 questions apart from the demographic data of the participants, out of which, 18 were close-ended questions and one question was open-ended. The participants were questioned in detail about their lifestyle before and after the lockdown period, change in mindset, gadget addiction, and sleep pattern. The participants were allowed to answer the questionnaire for a month. All the responses were collected and tabulated in an Excel sheet. The tabulated data were later statistically analyzed using SPSS software.
Results: In total, 487 persons participated in the survey; 92.6% of the participants agreed to an increase in their screen time during the COVID-19 quarantine. Participants also admitted that the number of hours spent with gadgets among participants was only 2–4 or 4–6 hours before the lockdown to longer hours of mobile usage (6–8 hours and 8–10 hours) during the lockdown. About 58.3% of participants felt that their sleep pattern was adversely affected which has led to 44.8% of the individuals feeling lethargic and sleepy during the daytime.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that there is a significant spike in the amount of screen time among the participants. This sudden increase in gadget usage has also been shown to have a negative influence on the individual's physical and psychological well-being by altering their sleep cycle and making them increasingly irritable.
Clinical significance: COVID-19 lockdown has brought a paradigm shift in our dependence on technology to perform key tasks in our everyday life. This increase in technological dependency has also resulted in a proportional increase in the number of young adults suffering from a myriad of mental illnesses. It is essential for parents and educational institutions to be aware of the ill effects of gadget addiction, so as to recognize and offer the appropriate help when required.
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