UK Study Shows Young People Spend Around 7 Hours Daily Online

Published August 14th, 2018 - 05:10 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

Almost a fifth of young people aged 16 to 24 are spending more than seven hours a day online, new Ofcom data reveals.

Young people in that generation are twice as likely as rest of the British population to use the equivalent of two full days of their week online.

Only one per cent of over 65 year olds and just 6 per cent of 55-64 year olds spend more than 50 hours a week online, compared to the 18 per cent of 16-24 year olds.

Earlier this month Ofcom revealed that Britons check their smartphones every 12 minutes and rack up a day a week online.

Online experts have shared their concern that such constant use of digital devices could have a negative impact on relationships, productivity and mental health.

‘It is not just about it affecting relationships and productivity but also mental health. An Oxford University study last year showed self-reported mental wellbeing peaked for 15-year olds at four hours a day on screens. 

'After that further screen time had a negative effect on their wellbeing,’ told Tanya Goodin, founder of digital health consultancy Time to Log Off, to the Telegraph.

Smartphones have also been revealed to be the main mode of accessing the internet with 95 per cent of 16 to 24 year-olds using them to go online, 25 per cent more than other adults.

Yet the younger generation is seemingly becoming more aware of their internet usage and negative impacts it can have.

Hold, a Norwegian social enterprise company, claims to have signed up 100,000 young Britons to its app which rewards people for the time they stay away from their phone. In Norway, 125,000 students use it.

Rewards such as drinks, food or travel are given by sponsors of the company - including £250,000 by Brent Hoberman, who works with Princes William and Harry to counter cyber-bullying.

Keita Eriawan, 20, a student at Hult international business school in London, said he downloaded the app as he was frustrated with how much his phone was distracting him from his studies.

He said: ‘I used to check my phone every five minutes for social media and football updates. That would be over eight to nine hours a day. Now I would say it’s about half that time.’

Surprisingly, while the use of smartphones by the younger generation could be seen to be going down as they become more aware, the amount of time spent online by the older generations may well increase.

Martin Lock, chief executive of Silversurfers, said he expected a sharp increase in older people’s time on the internet in the future as the government put more services online and more tech-savvy middle aged users got older.

Margie Savory, 69, a former TV producer from Bridport, admits she is addicted to her phone and uses it to keep in touch. 

‘We have a WhatsApp group with neighbours who are older than me where we can send each other pictures if we do something fun or are on holiday,’ she said.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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