Los niños británicos de seis años manejan mejor la tecnología que los adultos de 45 años, según el informe anual del regulador de las telecomunicaciones en el Reino Unido (Ofcom).
La manera de comunicarse de los jóvenes de hoy respecto a las generaciones anteriores ha cambiado y la diferencia más notable es, según Ofcom, la reducción del tiempo que utilizan para hablar por teléfono.
Los más voraces de la comunicación, según el estudio, son los jóvenes de entre 16 y 24 años, que llegan a pasar 14 horas y 7 minutos al día enganchados a la multitarea o realizando varias actividades a la vez, como mandar mensajes de texto mientras ven la televisión.
A ‘millennium generation’ of 14 and 15 year olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK, according to new Ofcom research, which shows that after our teens our digital confidence begins a long decline.
The research – part of Ofcom’s eleventh Communications Market Report – measures confidence and knowledge of communications technology to calculate an individual’s ‘Digital Quotient’ score, or ‘DQ’, with the average UK adult scoring 100.
Children aged 12-15 are turning away from talking on the telephone. Just 3% of their communications time is spent making voice calls, while the vast majority (94%) is text based – such as instant messaging and social networking.
By contrast, older generations still find it good to talk: 20% of UK adults’ communications time is spent on the phone on average. While adults also embrace digital text-based communications, the traditional email is most popular (used for 33% of their time spent communicating) compared to just 2% among 12-15s.
Take our simplified Digital Quotient taster test to find out your score and get Ofcom advice on how to improve your understanding of communications services.
Technology and work-life balance
While technology is seen by many as a distraction in our daily lives, a quarter (24%) of workers think technology is improving their work-life balance. Just under half (49%) say it is not making much difference either way and 16% think technology is making their work-life balance worse.
Six in 10 (60%) workers do some form of work-related communications activity outside of working hours. Emailing is the most common work-based communication activity out of hours, with nearly half (46%) of all workers emailing from time to time, and a fifth (22%) doing so on a regular basis.
Around four in 10 workers are also taking part in work-related telephone calls (41%) and text messages (37%) occasionally outside their working hours.
The largest proportion of work-related communications takes place in the evening at home. Of those people, one in 10 read or send work emails or texts in bed, on waking in the morning or last thing at night.
Communications technology is also shaping our holiday time. The research shows almost a third (32%) of people have made work related calls, sent emails or texts while on holiday, and of those, one in 10 has worked on the beach, or by the pool.
But there is a trade-off. Six in 10 workers say that while they’re at work they regularly or occasionally send and receive texts for personal reasons; half of workers use email; while 46% make or receive telephone calls for non-work related reasons. Just over a quarter (27%) catch-up on the sports results at work, while one in five people are shopping online in the office.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, 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.
‘We’re now spending more time using media or communications than sleeping. The convenience and simplicity of smartphones and tablets are helping us cram more activities into our daily lives.’
James Thickett, Ofcom Director of Research, said: ‘While gadgets can prove a distraction, technology is actually improving work-life balance for some.
‘Six in ten of us do some form of working outside of normal hours, but the trade-off is that we’re making personal calls and doing our life-admin at work.’