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Coffee, spouse, paycheque: What would you give up for your smartphone?

B.C. residents say they’d give up a lot, according to a BC Hydro report

What would you give up to be able to use your smartphone?

Your morning cup of joe? Your spouse? Your paycheque?

According to a new report out Thursday from BC Hydro, maybe all three.

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The utility company surveyed 400 British Columbians and the results suggest that for many of them, the thought of losing smartphone or tablet privileges for the day was horrifying.

More than one-quarter of British Columbians aged 25 to 54 said they would give up seeing their spouse or partner in exchange for their smartphone.

Despite waxing lyrical about millennials and their smart phones, that number jumped to two-thirds for the 55-64-year-old age group.

But perhaps it’s no surprise: 70 per cent of those surveyed said they sleep with their smartphone and for more than half of them, checking their smartphone is the first thing they do in the morning.

It goes further: 65 per cent would give up their morning coffee before their smartphone and another 18 per cent would rather play on their phone than get paid for their work that day.

But why?

The over-reliance on one’s smartphone might not be surprising given how much electronics have seeped their way into everyday life.

BC Hydro says that since the early 1990s, electricity use has increased by nearly 150 per cent in the average B.C. home.

With larger electronics like fridges and washing machines becoming more and more efficient, BC Hydro believes that it’s smaller electronics like smartphones, laptops and high-definition TVs that are pumping up electricity use.

For example, laptops, tablets and smartphones each use about 15-20 watts in a day each. It doesn’t seem like much, but the utility company says it all adds up.

Between 2010 and 2012, the number of laptops in B.C. homes shot up by 43 per cent, while the Apple iPad brought with it a 200 per cent increase in tablets in B.C. homes between 2010 and 2017.

And while the number of TVs has remained steady at about two per household, people are buying more gadgets to use with them.

Set-top boxes – used to watch high definition T.V., record shows and movies – have become more popular, with 21 per cent more homes having one in 2018 compared to 2010.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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