Eight hours and 41 minutes – the average time spent glued to tech gadgets each day

Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Friday, August 8, 2014
9:33 AM

Ever get that feeling you spend too much time on your mobile?

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Well now a study has confirmed the fact that we’ve gone technology bonkers – spending more time on our devices than sleeping.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report 2014 has found UK adults are becoming more dependant on technology with the average adult spending eight hours, 41 minutes using media or communications, which is more than they spend sleeping (eight hours, 21 minutes).

Despite this the report found that a six year old has the same understanding of technology, such as smartphones and tablets, as a 45 year old reveals.

The study, which asked around 2,000 adults and 800 children, found that Britons reach their peak understanding of digital technology at the age of 14 and 15, with almost 88pc of 16 to 24 year olds in possession of a smartphone.

Pete Kelley – 63 years old

OK, I’m struggling… You think I’m gonna say I don’t understand it, don’t you? All right I don’t.

Happy? But not the way you mean. Admittedly, we recently received a letter. In an envelope. Marked “for web comments”. So there is a comprehension issue out there.

But mostly what people 60 and upwards (I’m 63) don’t get is the point of social media. I tweeted once, but got scared when someone answered. Woo!

Apps? Nope. Satnav? Nope. My phone cost £30. It does text (love text). It even takes pictures if you want a picture of fog through fog.

What else do I need?

My cheap laptop is good for TV catch-up. The Ted Lectures are inspirational.

The web is helping me improve my Arabic. (Two men in dark glasses – talking to their lapels – are now permanently stationed outside my front door. But that’s probably a coincidence.)

That’s me done.

Oh… no… also I can get video of The Travelling Wilburys whenever I want. Magic.

Ben Adams, group and trade sales manager at B.B. Adams, a Norfolk electrical business to business specialist, believes there are pros and cons to technology.

“Sales of smartphones and tablets have nearly trebled in the past 18 months. They’re easy to use and people can shop on them,” he said.

“I think technology is beneficial as you can communicate with people easier, but it can affect the art of face to face communication.”

But organisations like Sight Care, a business and marketing support organisation for Independent Opticians, are warning of the dangers of spending too much time look at screens.

James Baxter – 17 years old

Being a relatively normal 17-year-old, technology plays a huge part in my life.

On an average Saturday night where nothing is happening anywhere, you will probably find me upstairs playing video games with some friends online, watching a film or on the internet.

Phones, the internet, social media are not only used for entertainment purposes, but are actively used as tools by me on a daily basis.

An example is the group chat on Facebook for my philosophy class, which we use to discuss concepts we don’t understand.

Although 15 people all messaging at once has not always proved helpful.

Paul Surridge, CEO, said: “When you add all these together, the total time really clocks up and is potentially damaging your eyes.”

Georgia Kelly, 25, a shop assistant at Topshop, from Norwich, said: “I think it’s true that people spend more time on technology than sleeping, People stop dead in the street on their phones. I spend about three hours watching TV and an hour on my phone a day.”

John Whitehouse, 39, from Norwich, added: “I can quite readily believe the statistics. Technology is part of everyday life, especially with youngsters, it’s how they interact. I don’t see any harm in it.”

David Powles – 35 years old

Norwich City playing away from home.

That’s the moment I am reminded that perhaps this technology lark has gone a little bit too far.

From the couch I’ll listen to the radio and the dulcet, comforting (especially in defeat) tones of BBC Norfolk’s Chris Goreham.

To my right normally sits the mobile phone – that’s for the live online Norwich coverage provided by the PinkUn.

To my left the iPad – to follow the BBC national coverage.

And on my lap is my computer – that one’s for Twitter.

And then there’s the television. Jeff Stelling and his crew banter away, though most of the time I’ll keep them on mute.

The no less than five forms of technology just to follow one form of sport.

Imagine how depressing it gets having Norwich’s defeats relayed to you so many times.

Thankfully the rest of my life doesn’t quite follow this pattern and I try hard to make times when the technology is switched off.

What do you think? Email (of course) edpletters@archant.co.uk

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