Brits spend nights ‘out’ online

Hardcore internet-users are spending more of their time on social networking sites than going out on the town, according to a new survey.

Brits spend nights 'out' online

A survey carried out by YouGov for uSwitch shows that six per cent of the 10,500 British broadband users questioned admitted spending more than 10 hours a week online using social networking services such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo.

That level of usage equates to 24 days a year, compared with an average of 22 days spent actually meeting friends and relatives in the flesh.

It has overtaken online shopping, banking and downloading music as the most popular online activity. Only random web surfing and email are more online activities.

Women use social networking sites more than men, 56 per cent compared to 46 per cent.

Nearly 75 per cent of those visiting social networking sites are aged between 18 and 29 years.

The average Brit spends 15.8 hours a week online, the equivalent to 34 days a year.

Nearly eight million broadband customers pay between ₤15-30 a month for their connections, with the average cost standing at ₤18.

Steve Weller, head of communications at uSwitch, said: “We are not surprised to find that the average internet user is spending nearly a week socialising online. Consumers from all walks of life are embracing the trend.

“We’ve seen huge growth in this phenomenon over the last couple of years.”

This was compared to data from the National Statistics’ time use survey carried out in 2005.

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