Digital Tech Ravages UK Book Collections... By Three Volumes Each

The devastating impact digital technology is wreaking on the traditional book has been revealed in a new study.

The average adult now owns three fewer books compared to 2005.

It's true - Ofcom reports that while only 83% of adults have a book collection now compared to 93% in 2005, the average size of that collection has fallen by three whole books.

They added that older people have bigger collections (118 average) than younger people (50 books per 16-24 year olds). Though that's also to be expected probably, given they are, you know, younger.

Okay, we're being a little sarcastic there. But the report did indicate tech is changing our lives in other ways.

The study, by communications regulator Ofcom, found that six-year-olds have the same understanding of using gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets as 45-year-olds.

The research also shows:

  • The average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications (eight hours, 41 minutes a day) than they do sleeping (eight hours, 21 minutes).
  • The total amount of time spent using technology is 11 hours, seven minutes, when multi-tasking is taken into account
  • Only 3% of teens make voice calls - 94% of communication is text based
  • In contrast, a fifth (20%) of adults' communications time is spent making calls on the phone.
  • 22% of over 65s now owning a tablet compared to just 2% two years ago.
  • Six in 10 adults (61%) owning a smartphone compared to half (51%) a year earlier.
  • Almost nine in 10 (88%) of 16 to 24-year-olds have a smartphone, spending an average of three hours and 36 minutes a day using it
  • Time spent watching TV has fallen, with the average amount in 2013 being three hours and 52 minutes compared to fours hours and one minute the year before.
  • A quarter (24%) of workers believe technology is improving their work-life balance, 16% disagree and just under half (49%) reported no difference

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said: "Our research shows that a 'millennium generation' is shaping communications habits for the future.

"While children and teenagers are the most digitally-savvy, all age groups are benefitting from new technology.

"The convenience and simplicity of smartphones and tablets are helping us cram more activities into our daily lives."

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