British people are slaves to the internet, according to a new survey from consumer web site uSwitch.com, which found that the average Brit uses the internet for 30 hours a week, a number described as "astonishing".
The survey revealed that on a normal working day the average British person will spend two hours online for 'work' purposes, and three hours for 'personal and pleasure' purposes, presumably when they get home.
Post-work adults are likely to use the internet for social networking activities, according to uSwitch. A quarter of respondents said that they 'need to use sites such as Facebook and Twitter at least once a day', while 41 per cent of the over 65s said that 'social networking is the future and they should get used to it'.
More conventional web pastimes are more popular, however, and 93 per cent of adult respondents said that they shopped online, while 82 per cent managed their finances online.
Just a third of respondents do not use the internet at work, but appear to make up for it at the weekend. USwitch said that on average Brits put in three hours of web time a day throughout the weekend.
Respondents aged 18 to 24 assign seven hours a day from Monday to Friday to online time, and five hours a day at the weekend. The fact that a fifth of this age group spends 16 hours of their weekend in a cyber world may be making them fat, according to the firm.
"This research shows the huge impact that the internet is having on British life. Broadband is rapidly becoming a necessity as important to our quality of life as gas or electricity," said Jason Glynn, communications expert at uSwitch.com.
"Our reliance looks set to increase dramatically over the coming years as younger generations come to the fore, putting the government under even more pressure to deliver universal broadband access across the whole country."
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