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Time using technology, it all adds up

Is technology better than sleeping?

Date: 11-08-2014
Author: Sam Totham

Prefer using technology to sleeping?

Well so does everyone else apparently!

A recent study by Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, found that an average UK adult spends 8 hours and 41 minutes on various media devices, which edges just ahead of the average sleep per night of 8 hours and 21 minutes.

Now this may seem like a lot of time spent with technology and you may think that you don’t necessarily personally live up to that, but think about it. The study includes time spent watching TV, on the computer or laptop, listening to the radio, on tablets and smartphones, using printers, using a landline and also stereo systems. Therefore, it all quickly adds up, even if you do not directly notice it during the day, even those 30 minutes you spent listening to the radio in the car.

With TV and radio still at the top of the table for the study, it shows that they still have a significant presence in people’s lives, but the smartphones and tablets are catching up… This is in a large part due to expanding tech knowledge reaching younger and younger age groups. This is characterised in the results that show some six-year-old children having an equal level of knowledge and understanding related to technology devices as the average 45-year-old!

Device Usage Graph

Device Breakdown

A brief breakdown of the results of device usage per day into major groups;

  • 3 hours 52 minutes – Watching TV
  • 2 hours 46 minutes – Listening to radio
  • 1 hours 8 minutes – On the internet (PC/laptop)
  • 28 minutes – On a mobile phone
  • 9 minutes – On a fixed landline


Not enough hours in the day?

The wonder of multitasking also means that those aged 16-24 are more likely to perform more than one task at a time, meaning that they can fit 14 hours of media activity into just 9 hours of real time, creating 5 hours of time saved multitasking!

However, there is good news for people who favour more traditional entertainment;

  • 84% of adults surveyed by Ofcom said they still maintained a book or CD collection.
  • 80% of surveyed adults also said they have a DVD library.
  • Around 33% of adults surveyed had mailed a personal letter in the last month.

So even if you’re not a technology savvy six-year-old, there’s still hope for good old fashioned books and letters! If you would like more information about the survey and its results, you can find out more on the BBC News article.

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