British adults spend an average of 50 days of their year connected to the internet - equivalent to a seventh of their daily lives - new figures from Ofcom have revealed.
The average UK adult spent three hours and 15 minutes per day online last year – a rise of 11 minutes since 2017. That translates to 1,192 hours over the year - the equivalent of around 50 days on the internet - despite a rise in the number of "adverse experiences" online.
The study found that almost two in three adults and eight in ten children have had a potentially adverse experience online in the past year. The proportion of adults concerned about using the internet has risen since last year, from 59 per cent to 78 per cent. Most adults, however, agree that the benefits of going online outweigh the risks, and 61 per cent of children think that the internet makes their lives better.
Among children, 39 per cent experienced offensive language online; 28 per cent had received unwelcome friend requests; 23 per cent encountered cyber-bullying; and 20 per cent had encountered trolling.
Yih-Choung Teh, group director of strategy and Research at Ofcom, said: “As most of us spend more time than ever online, we’re increasingly worried about harmful content – and also more likely to come across it.
“For most people, those risks are still outweighed by the huge benefits of the internet. And while most internet users favour tighter rules in some areas, particularly social media, people also recognise the importance of protecting free speech – which is one of the internet’s great strengths.”