Half our waking life spent before TV, computers

Consequently, many of us become adept at multi-tasking. Computer users send emails listening to music or watching TV, or texting and surfing the net at the same time, the Daily Mail reported, quoting the annual communications market report released by broadcast regulator Ofcom.

Its spokesperson Peter Phillips said: "For the first time we can see just how central media and communications are to our lives. On average we use them for nearly half our waking hours."

Younger folk aged between 16 and 24 years are the most adept at multi-tasking, cramming nearly five hours of media usage into under two hours daily.  Adults watch 212 minutes of video - including TV, online clips, on demand programming and DVDs daily. And media use peaks at 9 p.m., driven by prime-time TV.

On average, people spend 91 minutes a day listening to the radio, 80 minutes a day are spent on text messaging, social networking and emailing.   Meanwhile, the over 55s are increasingly using computers with more than half having access to broadband - mostly for emails.

Phillips said: "Younger people have shown the biggest changes in how we use media. But the divide between younger and older people's use of technology is starting to narrow." More than 70 percent of people have access to a computer at home, while just over a third use them at work.

There has also been a boom in the numbers using their mobile phones to surf the internet, up from nine million to 13.5 million in just a year, thanks to the increased popularity of smartphones such as the iPhone.

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