UK becoming nation of internet addictsFriday 8th July 2011
The UK is becoming a nation of internet addicts.
The average Briton now spends a staggering two days of their week online according to new research by uSwitch.com.
By using the web for work, rest and play, they are clocking up an astonishing 50 hours a week on the internet - an unprecedented jump of 20 hours a week in just two years.
A typical working day in 2009 saw the average Brit spent five hours online.
Now our web-hungry nation spends nine hours online - four hours for professional purposes and five for pleasure and leisure, including social networking, online shopping, managing finances, watching films and downloading music.
But our addiction isn't just contained to the working week. During weekend "downtime", the average Brit spends four hours a day online.
The uSwitch.com research suggests that young adults take this even further. A staggering 14% of 18-24 year olds spend over ten hours a day online at the weekend, surfing the net, watching TV and keeping in touch with friends and family.
In fact, social networking is one of the main reasons that Brits now spend so much time online.
Some 93% of 18-24 year olds regularly using sites such as Facebook and Twitter compared to 41% of silver surfers (aged 55 years or over).
Online shopping has also contributed to the dramatic increase. With cash-strapped consumers keen to hunt down bargains, 90% of the UK now shops on the internet. On top of this, 85% of Brits spend time managing their money online, more than half (57%) watch TV, films and video online, and one third (31%) download music.
Ernest Doku, technology expert at uSwitch.com, said: "These figures show just what an impact the internet has had on our lives. It's become such a life essential that it's very hard to imagine how we would cope without it.
"It's likely that our reliance will only increase as the younger generations come to the fore and smartphones become more prolific. In fact many young people seem to prefer touchscreen technology to getting in touch with people face to face."
Mike Jones (from Investor Today).