Wednesday, 8 March 2006

A Nation of Internet Potatoes

The Guardian reports : "That Britons now spend more time watching the web than watching television, according to Google.

A survey conducted on behalf of the search engine found that the average Briton spends around 164 minutes online every day, compared with 148 minutes watching television. That is equivalent to 41 days a year spent surfing the web: more than almost any other activity apart from sleeping and working.

Television addiction has been Britain's national pastime for years, but experts agree that viewers around the country are increasingly switching on their computer screens instead of their TV sets. And it is a phenomenon that is set to grow, with two thirds of respondents in the Google survey saying that they had increased the time spent online in the last year.

The Google survey found surfers in London and Scotland are the country's heaviest web users, spending more than three hours a day online. That was around 40 minutes more each day than those in the lowest category, the north-west of England.

It is a high water mark in the rise of the internet. It is little more than 10 years since the start of the dotcom revolution but already more than 1 billion people around the world are connected to the internet. Television, in contrast, took decades to reach a similar number of people.

1 comment:

Mr Average Briton said...

As someone who has a science background - I never believe in data like this without fully understanding how it was collected, what the sample size was, how the sample was selected etc.

If you know anyone who is an average briton, please let me know, 'cos I'd like to model myself upon him so I don't stand out in as being different. On second thought, maybe I don't want to be mr average briton because I might be a target for potential sales.

And of course, when statements are published by a "search engine" company then it's in their interest to make the data tell a story that puts them in a great light (i.e. selling the advertising opportunities that we currently can't block out).