Ofcom report finds adults check smart phones every 12 minutes

A FIFTH of British adults now spend more than 40 hours a week online, according to an Ofcom report.

Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 8:40 am
Updated Friday, 31st August 2018, 5:08 pm
Ofcom has released a report on smart phone use.

The regulator's annual Communications Market Report also found Britons check their smartphones on average every 12 minutes of the waking day.

In contrast to just 10 years ago, most people now say they need and expect a constant internet connection wherever they go, with 64 per cent of adults describing it as an essential part of their life.

For the first time, the amount of time spent making phone calls from mobiles has fallen as users increasingly turn to alternatives like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

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Only 75 per cent of smartphone owners consider using a mobile for phone calls to be important, compared with 92 per cent who think using the device for internet browsing is important.

Half of all UK adults say their life would be '˜boring' without the internet, around a third say they feel cut off or lost without it and 17 per cent find it stressful without a connection.

Overall, people claim to spend an average of 24 hours each week online - double the amount of time spent in 2007.

However, Ofcom found significant numbers of people think being online has negative effects on their lives, with 15 per cent saying it makes them feel they are always at work and 54 per cent admitting that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family.

Ian Macrae, Ofcom's director of market intelligence, said: '˜Over the last decade, people's lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services.

'˜Whether it's working flexibly, keeping up with current affairs or shopping online, we can do more on the move than ever before.

'˜But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they're not.'