28 Dec 2017

Kiwis glued to screens on Christmas Day

6:45 am on 28 December 2017

Figures from Vodafone show many New Zealanders were stuck on their devices on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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Photo: 123RF

The figures from the telecommunications company show that its customers nationally consumed 411 terabytes of data on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, compared with 238 terabytes across the country during the same period last year - a 73 percent increase.

Vodafone said this showed how vital its investments were for New Zealanders, and it discounted the impact of bad weather on the figures.

The news was not so welcome to a fitness promotion organisation, Exercise New Zealand.

Its chief executive, Richard Beddie said it was not such a good thing for people to spend too much time looking at their screens.

"The great thing about a holiday is that it is a good time to start new habits," he said.

"A lot of Kiwis want to be more active, so it is an excellent opportunity to start something, whether that be walking the dog, joining a gym, or just spending time with friends and family.

"So it is a bit concerning that there is so much time being spent in front of screens."

But a Vodafone official, Kiri Coughlan, doubted this argument.

"I think people are pretty wise in how they choose to spend their time," she said.

"There has been a five percent increase in the number of texts that people have sent on Christmas Day.

"That is a lot of people keeping in touch and saying thanks for the present and making sure they are staying in touch with the rest of the family."

Ms Coughlan said her company was enabling people to connect with family and friends.