Consumers in the UK are spending nearly half (45%) of their time watching TV, using mobiles or other communication devices, according to a new survey by government regulator Ofcom.
They are now sending four times as many texts per day than in 2004, spending nearly a quarter of their time on social networking site like Facebook and Twitter and spending 3 hours and 45 minutes watching TV per day.
“For the first time we can see just how central media and communications are to our lives – on average we use them for nearly half our waking hours,” said Peter Phillips, Ofcom Partner, Strategy & Market Developments.
“Younger people have shown the biggest changes in how we use media – particularly using different media at the same time. But the divide between younger and older people’s use of technology is starting to narrow as more older people are getting online and finding that things like email are very important to them.”
There has been an increase in smartphone ownership, with growth particularly strong over the last year, up by 81 percent from 7.2 million user in May 2009 to 12.8 million in May 2010. In June 2010, over a quarter of people in the UK (26.5 per cent) said they had a smartphone, more than double the number two years previously.
In the first quarter of 2010 nearly a quarter of adults (23 per cent) accessed content or sent emails on their mobile phones, up from 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. Among 15-24s this rises to 45 per cent.
Surfing the Internet via mobile phones is the fastest growing mobile media activity with 1 million new users during the first quarter of 2010 (taking the total to 13.5 million, compared to 9 million in the first quarter of 2009).
Facebook was the most popular mobile site in terms of time people spent on it accounting for almost half (45%) of total time spent online on mobiles in December 2009.
UK consumers sent a record number of texts (104 billion) in 2009 – equivalent to 1700 for every person in the UK (up 25 per cent on 2008 and 290 per cent on 2004).
Social networking accounts for nearly a quarter of all time spent on the Internet (23% compared to 9% in 2007.) This has been driven by the rapid growth of Facebook which grew by 31 percent.