Smartphones – and young people – have led to a phenomenal rise in the amount people use electronic devices on daily basis
If right now you’re stuck behind a screen when you should really be tucked up in bed, don’t worry – we have proof you’re not the only one.
A new study by communications watchdog Ofcom has shown that Britons spend more time using their smartphones and tablets, as well as enjoying TV and radio, than they do sleeping.
The research revealed that these devices take up 11 hours and 7 minutes of an average person’s day in the UK – a jump of more than two hours since 2010.
Ofcom said many people make phone calls and surf the web at the same time as they watch TV or listen to the radio, so the total amount is squeezed into 8 hours 41 minutes, or an average of 20 minutes longer than we sleep.
Smartphones, which are now used by more than 6 in 10 of us, and tablet computers were behind the rise.
Adam Morland, 15, a student from Golders Green in London, said: “My smartphone means I can now access a large number of useful apps and social media platforms while on the move.
“It’s getting harder to imagine a world without technology.”
Chloë Chiew, a 16-year-old from St Albans, added: “I love using my phone to connect with family and friends easily. I use just before I go to bed and again as soon as I wake up.”
The survey of nearly 2,000 adults and 800 kids also found that the most tech-saavy people are teenagers.
It said we reach a peak of digital understanding at 14-15 years, while children at age six show the same knowledge of new technology as the average 45-year-old.
Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards commented: “Our research shows that a ‘millennium generation’ is shaping communications habits for the future.
“While children and teenagers are the most digitally-savvy, all age groups are benefitting from new technology.”
According to the regulator’s Communications Market Report, watching television has remained the most popular individual activity, consuming nearly three hours of the average adult’s day.