British adults spend 24 hours a week online

A fifth of British adults now spend more time online each week than the average time spent at work.

Ofcom’s annual Communications Market Report found that 20% of people spend 40 hours a week on line, with half of those surveyed saying life would be “boring” without the internet.

And while there are now more mobile phones in the UK than people, the number of actual calls from them has fallen as messaging apps such as WhatsApp increase in popularity.

And just having a mobile is not enough with smartphone owners checking them every 12 minutes and almost two thirds describing it as an essential part of their lives.

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.

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

While the study showed that people appreciate the benefits of mobile devices it also revealed the downsides, with 15% saying it makes them feel they are always at work and more than half admitting that they had a negative impact on face-to-face conversations with friends and family.

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