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Mobile-savvy Brits spend more time on social media than sleeping says Ofcom

A new report published by Ofcom reveals some interesting habits surrounding Brits and the relationship that they share with their mobile phones and other connected devices.

Man with phone asleep

Given the opportunity, would you prefer to spend an extra 15 minutes on Instagram each day or a little longer lying in bed before your alarm? For many of us, it turns out that smartphones trump sleep with a sample size of around 2000 adults and 800 children revealing that the balance has tipped since Ofcom’s last survey from 2010.

Nowadays the average UK adult spends 8 hours 41 minutes using digital media or communications – which could be anything from mobile phone calls and browsing Facebook on-the-go, as opposed to 20 minutes less time spent sleeping. 16 to 24 year-olds are racking up the most time resulting in an impressive 14 total hours spent each day (factoring in multiple devices or services being used simultaneously).

Ofcom’s research doesn’t stop there however, with its ‘Digital Quotient’ (DQ) serving as a means to value the confidence and knowledge of users from different age brackets – the average UK adult setting a DQ score of 100.

Ofcom DQ graph

It’s the teens (14 and 15 years) who show the greatest knowledge of mobile communications with a score of 113, whilst 6 and 7 year-olds have an equal level of understanding as the current batch of 45 to 49 years-olds.

Despite having met many a ‘tech-savvy’ granny and granddad personally, it turns out that older generations – that is, 60 per cent of those aged 55 and up, landed below the DQ average score; primarily as a result of their reliance on older means of communication, namely phone calls over text messaging or social media. The other end of the scale is even more extreme in the opposite direction, with only 3 per cent of kids aged 12 to 15 resorting to voice calls, instead favouring text and other forms of digital messaging like Whatsapp by a 94 per cent majority.

Ofcom’s latest study has shone a light on the changing face of digital communication and who knows, in a few year’s time we might be more comfortable speaking to our computer than one another.

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Image credit: Timothy Krause, Flickr

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