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Type of Internet Activities

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Home schooling and remote working from home has had an effect on the ICT usage of individuals since the introduction of the measures introduced as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nine in every ten (90%) of internet users surveyed in three weeks in March (since the introduction of these new measures) used Email, an increase of four percentage points on the corresponding figure for January. In the March data collection period, almost all (99%) of internet users aged 16 to 44 years used Email, as did eight in every ten (80%) of internet users aged 60 years and over. Over nine in every ten (93%) of internet users whose principal economic status was At work used Email, an increase of three percentage points on the corresponding figure in January. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.

With an increase in the number of persons remote working from home or home schooling, and remote meetings by phone where possible, there has also been an increase in the use of Internet telephoning/video calls (such as Skype, Zoom, etc.) – nearly three quarters (74%) of internet users used this method of communication in March, an increase of two percentage on the corresponding period in January (72%). See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.

During this ‘lockdown’ period, people are increasingly accessing news using online news channels. Over three quarters (76%) of internet users reported Reading or downloading online news (including online news sites, newspapers or magazines), an increase of two percentage points on the corresponding figure for January. Social networking (includes creating user profiles, posting messages or other contributions to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp etc.) also increased in March – 68% compared with 66% in January. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.

With the closure of banks and other financial institutions, the use of internet banking and mobile banking increased. Over eight in every ten (81%) of internet users used Internet banking in March compared with 72% in January, an increase of nine percentage points. See Table 3.1 and Figure 3.1.

Show Table: Table 3.1 Individuals who recently used the internet (in the last 3 months) classified by types of internet activities, January and March 2020

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January 2020March 2020
Email8690
Internet telephoning/ video calls7274
Instant messaging8280
Reading or downloading online news7476
Internet banking7281
Social networking6668

During the COVID-19 pandemic, use of the internet for Seeking health related information has increased by twelve percentage points in March, with 72% of persons aged 16 years and over seeking health information compared with 60% in the last three weeks of January. See Table 3.2 and Figure 3.2.

With more people having to stay at home, our use of the internet for entertainment has increased. Watching YouTube type content has increased in March during the COVID-19 pandemic – 70% of persons aged 16 years and over in March compared with 65% in the corresponding period in January, an increase of five percentage points. Watching internet streamed TV live or catch up (from TV broadcasters) was carried out by 55% of internet users, while 57% were Watching video on demand (from commercial services such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO GO, Amazon Prime). In March, 46% of internet users aged 60 years and over were Watching internet streamed TV live or catch up, compared to 29% in January, while 37% of that age group were Watching video on demand in March compared to 29% in January. See Table 3.2 and Figure 3.2.

Show Table: Table 3.2 Individuals who recently used the internet (in the last 3 months) classified by types of internet activities, January and March 2020

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January 2020March 2020
Seeking health related information6072
Finding information on goods and services8977
Listening to music5962
Watching YouTube type content6570
Watching internet streamed TV live or catch up5455
Watching video on demand5557

In March, almost half (49%) of persons aged 16 to 44 years (who use the internet) reported Uploading self-created content (such as photos, music, videos, text to any website to be shared), compared to 38% in January, while 55% of this age group used the internet for Playing or downloading games – a 20 percentage increase on January levels . See Table 3.3 and Figure 3.3.

One fifth (20%) of persons used the internet for Making an appointment with a health practitioner (such as to get a prescription), an increase of seven percentage points on January. Use of the internet for Using other healthcare services instead of visiting doctor (via a website or App) was reported by 7% of internet users surveyed in March, compared with 4% in the corresponding survey period in January. See Table 3.3 and Figure 3.3.

Show Table: Table 3.3 Individuals who recently used the internet (in the last 3 months) classified by types of internet activities, January and March 2020

January 2020March 2020
Uploading self created content3138
Playing or downloading games2330
Selling of goods or services810
Making an appointment with health practitioner1320
Accessing personal health records54
Using other healthcare services instead of visiting47

View tables on Statbank.

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