Technology, Top News

In 20 years, we’ll all be watching Netflix at the dinner table

A NEW REPORT from telecoms regulator Ofcom suggests what we’ve always known – mobile phones are awesome. Phone calls aren’t.

For the first time, the number of calls made by Britons has fallen by 1.7 per cent since last year. Yet, the average user checks their phone, on average, every 12 minutes.

Messenger services appear to be winning the communications battle, with most preferring WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger (or to a lesser extent Google Hangouts and carsick Skype) over traditional methods. Usage reports for these aren’t provided to Ofcom, but it does note that the price of phone calls is cheaper than ever.

Whilst we’re not huge fans of surveys around these part (this means you, cat food companies) but when it comes direct from Ofcom, you have to take notice.

So let’s dive in. First off, 92 per cent of mobile phone owners (that’s 78 per cent of UK residents) believe that having internet access is essential on a phone.

That’s good, as the average 18-24-year-old is spending 3h 14m a day on their phone. That’s the extreme – but the average is still two hours 28 minutes.

If you live in a house with others, and you’re constantly being told off for using your phone at the dinner table, you’re not alone – but attitudes are changing. 62 per cent of over 55s don’t like phones during meals, but just 21 per cent of 18-34 year olds have an issue with it.

Those same youngsters say that video streaming capability is far more important than the wider internet. Not surprising when 40 per cent of households now have at least one Netflix account.

Then there’s the question of whether the phone is now more important than the telly. Back in 2008, the same survey found that 13 per cent said that their mobile was their most important gadget. Most chose the TV.

Fast foward 10 years and that figure is up to 48 per cent. Nearly half. The telly is playing second fiddle at 28 per cent.

Seems like the future is mobile. One of the great things about this kind of report is that the combination of age demographics and trend means we can see roughly what kind of a world it’ll be in 10 or 20 years.

We’d suggest someone invents a dining table with a built-in phone stand. That change is already coming. μ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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