18/10/2012 08:50 BST | Updated 17/12/2012 10:12 GMT

People Are Using The Internet Less For The First Time, Report Says

There's no doubt that we're living through a communications revolution - but it turns out our interest in staying connected might be starting to wane.

A survey in America has found people are using the Internet less for the first time ever.

According to the survey, the average consumer spends 19.6 hours using the internet every week, compared to 21.9 in 2011.

Every year since 1997 consumers have reported using the internet more in the annual survey by Forrester's.

The report also saw a decline in the number of US consumers with a computing device (meaning a PC or laptop).

So does the survey mean a return to more 'traditional' activities like watching TV or - shudder - reading?

Apparently not. Not only did the survey show a decline in time spent in front of the TV, Forrester's Gina Sverdlov said the data actually suggests it is our definition of 'using the internet' which is changing, not the amount of time we're actually spending doing it.

According to many consumers, using Facebook or shopping often "don't count" as using the Internet.

"Our analysis revealed that "being online" is becoming a fluid concept," she said.

"Consumers no longer consider some of the online activities they perform to be activities related to "using the Internet." In fact, given the various types of connected devices that US consumers own, many people are connected and logged on (automatically) at all times."

The report said that while PCs and laptops are still used for "serious online tasks" like banking or shopping, there is an increasing trend to use phones and tablets for casual browsing - particularly via social media.