Three in ten urban Indian women claim that they cannot do without using the Internet beyond an hour according to a survey by market research firm YouGov India. The latest survey reveals that although Internet penetration in India is dominated by male users, usage is high even among the urban female users and their dependence on the digital medium is as much as their male counterparts.
Nearly two in five Indian women (37%) said they cannot function without the Internet for more than few hours, and 30% cannot do without it beyond an hour. Furthermore, 23% cannot be without using it for more than a day and for 10% beyond a week is a stretch.
These numbers are similar to that of male users, where 39% males said they cannot function without the internet for more than few hours, and 27% cannot do beyond an hour. In order to keep a check on their internet usage, more than half women (52%) make conscious efforts to stay away from the internet when they are around people. Two in five refrain from using it at bed-time (42%) or turn off app notifications to avoid distractions (40%). A third take up a hobby or activity to reduce their digital time (34%) or track their internet usage and limit their online time (33%).
Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said, “Despite the high disparity between internet users in India, the data shows that the active women users are indeed spending as much time as men using the internet. Their dependence on the digital medium for multiple needs and the overall favourable view of the internet presents a great opportunity for technology brands to indulge them in areas of interest and tap into this growing segment of digital consumers.”
The survey found that the majority of women use the internet for online shopping and for accessing social media (72% each). After that it is used for emails (65%) and online chatting (61%).
Many women are using the internet for varied services such as streaming videos (58%), watching news (58%), streaming music (57%) and online banking (57%). In fact, a higher number of women use the internet for listening to music as compared to men (57% vs 49%).
Notably, even for activities that are popularly associated with men, indulgence by women is fairly high. Two in five women (39%) spend time on the internet for gaming and one in eight (12%) use it for the purpose of online dating.
Women seem to be happy with the Internet, the survey said adding that three in five of them agree with the statement ‘Internet has made it easier to stay in touch with people’ (61%) and ‘Internet has made my life easier’ (59%).
Many women also have concerns around the time spent online. 36% women said they spend more time online than offline, and just as many said the they lose track of time when they’re online (35%).