Young adults are now spending more than one full day per week online, according to new survey data from a U.K. communications regulator. In its annual Media Use and Attitudes Report, Ofcom found that U.K. residents between ages 16 and 24 now spend 27 hours and 36 minutes using the Internet each week, compared to about 10 hours per week a decade ago. Overall, people older than 16 are online for about 20 hours and 30 minutes each week, up from 10 hours in 2005.
The boost can largely be attributed to smartphones, which allow users to access the Internet from virtually anywhere. People now spend almost two and a half hours online per week when they’re away from work, home or school, up from just 30 minutes in 2005.
As Internet use has increased, general anxiety about the dangers of being online have fallen. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they were “concerned” about being on the Internet, compared to more than 70% in 2005. However, people may be becoming less willing to divulge personal information now. One-fifth of respondents said they would never provide their credit card information online, compared to 13% in 2013. One-fourth said they would never share their cell phone number, compared to 17% in 2013.
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