Ofcom report finds adults check smart phones every 12 minutes
A FIFTHÂ of British adults now spend more than 40 hours a week online, according to an Ofcom report.
The regulator's annual Communications Market Report also found BritonsÂ 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 centÂ 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.
Only 75 per centÂ of smartphone owners consider using a mobile for phone calls to be important, compared with 92 per centÂ who think using the device for internet browsing is important.
Half of all UK adultsÂ say their life would be '˜boring'Â without the internet, around a third say they feel cut off or lost without it and 17 per centÂ 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 centÂ saying it makes them feel they are always at work and 54 per centÂ 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.'