Britons spent extra time on-line than different Europeans throughout the pandemic, the communications regulator Ofcom has discovered.
When bodily contact was restricted and lockdowns got here into drive, the UK flocked to apps, web sites and gadgets.
In 2020, Britons spent on common 3.5 hours a day consuming on-line content material, whereas France and Germany averaged two hours a day.
Ofcom have analysed our habits of their annual report into the UK’s on-line migration.
The previous 18 months has propelled its path of journey.
“There isn’t any query in my thoughts that the pandemic has accelerated the development we have been already seeing,” mentioned Ofcom’s Director of Technique and Analysis, Yih-Choung Teh.
“We have been already embracing all kinds of on-line actions, however after all when eating places are closed it is no surprise all of us began ordering takeaways on-line in our tens of millions.”
On-line retail was an enormous winner of lockdown with buying gross sales rising by half and our complete spend coming to almost £113 billion in 2020.
Essentially the most cash was spent on foods and drinks, while family items additionally surged as lockdown gave us time for house renovations.
With the dearth of head to head contact, social media platforms maybe inevitably, noticed a big rise in customers.
As bodily courting turned almost not possible, many extra have been swiping proper too. One in 5 younger adults used on-line courting providers final yr.
Younger adults are described within the report as ‘heavy customers of social video platforms’ with YouTube and TikTok proving the most well-liked platforms. Ninety-five % of 15 yr olds now report having at the very least one social media account.
The findings could also be used to form future coverage on the regulation of social media platforms.
Chatting with Sky Information, Yih-Choung Teh mentioned the long-lasting affect of this many hours of on-line consumption continues to be unknown: “I believe it is attention-grabbing to consider what kind of lasting legacy can be left with us after lockdown.
“Because the regulator, now we have larger tasks coming our means as the federal government has put ahead a draft On-line Security Invoice to assist maintain individuals protected on-line as they get pleasure from the advantages.
“That is a very essential a part of this analysis for us, to know how can we assist defend individuals, notably youngsters on-line.”
The draft On-line Security Invoice is presently topic to pre-legislative scrutiny by a joint committee of MPs earlier than it proceeds to the following stage.
It’s proposing to safeguard youngsters and younger individuals from dangerous content material on-line.
In a yr that pressured us to speed up our on-line habits – many have reaped the advantages and loved the digital sphere, however weaning off some generations from the digital world could also be troublesome.