New imec Digimeter reveals initial traces of a possible ‘digibesitas’

The publication of the new imec Digimeter report has not gone by unnoticed – with several media outlets pointing to the initial traces of a possible ‘digibesitas’.


But what does ‘digibesitas’ actually mean, and where does it come from? According to Prof. Lieven De Marez (imec - MICT- UGent), the driving force behind the yearly Digimeter report, it relates to an overconsumption of digital applications.

"Traditional media such as TV and text messaging continue to do well; but at the same time we also observe a considerable increase in the consumption of (over-the-top) Internet services such as Netflix, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Yet, there’s still only 24 hours in one day," says Prof. De Marez.

"7 out of ten respondents told us that they’re spending too much time on digital applications – which generates quite some time pressure. The next couple of years, we want to observe how people deal with that. For the first time, the Digimeter findings point to the existence of a small group of people who abandon their smartphones or Facebook accounts as a way to cope with this pressure," he says.

As only a limited number of people have yet dared to take such a step, Digimeter underlines the importance of the privacy and dependency paradoxes.

"Four out of ten respondents are questioning how Internet giants like Google and Facebook are using their data – but still we barely see them change their online behavior (last year, 2.5% closed their Facebook accounts). That’s the privacy paradox. And the dependency paradox appears to have an even greater impact: despite the fact that seven out of ten respondents are worried about their digital over-consumption, only 1.5% abandon their smartphones to break this dependence," Lieven De Marez concludes.

More information about the digibesitas phenomenon, and the underlying privacy and dependency paradox, can be found in this presentation (pdf).

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