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Ofcom report reveals extent of the UK's mobile addiction

A fifth of British adults now spend more time online each week than the average time spent at work.
Ofcom's annual communications market report found that 20% of people spend 40 hours a week on line, with half of those surveyed saying life would be "boring" without the internet.
And while there are now more mobile phones in the UK than people, the number of actual calls from them has fallen as messaging apps such as WhatsApp increase in popularity.And just having a mobile is not enough with smartphone owners checking them every 12 minutes and almost two thirds describing it as an essential part of their lives.Only 75% of smartphone owners consider using a mobile for phone calls to be important, compared with 92% who think using the device for internet browsing is important.Overall, people claim to spend an average of 24 hours each week online - double the amount of time spent in 2007.Two in five adults (40%) first look at their phone within five minutes of waking up, rising to 65% of those aged under 35, while 37% of adults check their phones five minutes before lights out, again rising to 60% of under-35s.
Ian Macrae, Ofcom's director of market intelligence, said: "Over the last decade, people's lives have been transformed by the rise of the smartphone, together with better access to the internet and new services."Whether it's working flexibly, keeping up with current affairs or shopping online, we can do more on the move than ever before."But while people appreciate their smartphone as their constant companion, some are finding themselves feeling overloaded when online, or frustrated when they're not."While the study shows that people appreciate the benefits of mobile devices it also reveals the downsides, with 15% saying it makes them feel they are always at work and more than half admitting that they had a negative impact on face-to-face conversations with friends and family.
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It also revealed a disagreement between generations over the acceptable use of phones around other people, such as on public transport or during meal times.Just over half of adults (53%) say they are usually on their phone while watching television with others but 62% of over-55s think this is unacceptable, dropping to just 21% of 18 to 34-year-olds.
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