Most people in the UK are dependent on their digital devices, and need a constant connection to the internet, following a decade of digital transformation according to the new Ofcom Communications Market Report.
- 17% of people owned a smartphone in 2008. In 2018 that figure has reached 78%, and 95% among 16-24 year-olds.
- People in the UK now check their smartphones, on average, every 12 minutes of the waking day. Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, climbing to 65% of those aged under 35.
In contrast to a decade ago, most people now say they need and expect a constant internet connection, wherever they go.
- 64% say the internet is an essential part of their life. One in five adults (19%) say they spend more than 40 hours a week online, up from 5% just over ten years ago.
- Over the last decade, better access to the internet has transformed how we interact with each other. 41% say being online enables them to work more flexibly, and 74% say it keeps them close to friends and family.
- Using a mobile for phone calls is only considered important by 75% of smartphone users, compared to 92% who consider web browsing to be important.
For significant numbers of people, being online has negative effects.
- 15% of respondents agree that connectivity makes them feel they are always at work.
- 54% admit that connected devices interrupt face-to-face conversations with friends and family.
- 43% admit to spending too much time online.