It finds that one in three adult internet users (34%), equivalent to 15 million people in the UK, has sought a period of time offline, with one in ten (11%) doing so in the last week alone.
Of these digital down-timers, 25% spent up to a day internet-free; 20% took up to a week off; and 5% went web-free for up to a whole month.
Many people found their time offline to be a positive experience: a third (33%) said they felt more productive, 27% found it liberating, while a quarter (25%) enjoyed life more. However, 16% experienced a ‘fear of missing out’ (‘FOMO’) while on the web wagon, 15% felt lost and 14% ‘cut-off’.
Ofcom’s report shows that faster internet access is more widely available than ever before, with take-up of superfast broadband2 and 4G on the increase.
With people better connected than ever before, they can spend more time doing what they love online – such as watching the latest on-demand series, or chatting with friends and family via instant messaging services, both of which have seen a recent surge in popularity.
Three in four internet users (75%) consider the web ‘important’ to their daily lives. Nearly eight in 10 (78%) agree it helps keep them up-to-date about current affairs and social issues, while almost two thirds (63%) credit it with inspiring them to try new things such as travel destinations, restaurants, recipes or entertainment.
As a result of the internet’s importance in many people’s daily lives, adult users in the UK currently spend an average of one day per week (25 hours) online; 42% say they go online or check apps more than 10 times a day, while around one in 10 (11%) access the internet more than 50 times daily.
Most internet users (59%) even consider themselves ‘hooked’ on their connected device – while a third (34%) admit they find it difficult to disconnect."