London, July 27 : Internet has changed the way we shop, do business and get entertained. Now, this ever-so prominent Internet domination has been reflected in the findings of a study, which has found that Britons are spending more time online than never before.
This comprehensive study of the importance of the Internet in people's lives has found that thousands spend as many as 30 hours a week online.
The Ipsos MORI survey of more than 2,000 people, carried out across Britain for the BT 21st Century Life Index report found that the extent and use of broadband and mobile phone technology had increased dramatically in the past 10 years.
The survey indicated that 44 per cent of us now have broadband at home and more than half the population spend more than six hours a week online, compared with only 14 per cent a decade ago.
The number of websites visited has risen dramatically, with 19 per cent of Internet users visiting more than 20 different sites a week.
Almost 50 percent have booked flights and holidays online, 46 per cent have bought books, 21 per cent have downloaded music and 19 per cent have shopped for groceries.
In fact, 23 per cent have "Googled" themselves to see what's written about them online; a quarter have used a social networking site.
Even mobile phones are omnipresent, 86 per cent of British people use cell phones as compared with only 23 per cent in 1998.
While the use BlackBerrys and email phones is still limited to only 4 per cent, the use of PCs and laptops has risen from 35 per cent of the population to 47 per cent.
Nearly 80 per cent of Britons said that they could not live without a telephone; our mobile or landline phones. Nineteen per cent say they could not live without the Internet.
"Over the last decade we've seen the birth of the online society, the broadband revolution and the evolution of mobile communications. The internet has changed the way we shop, do business and the way we are entertained. People have more information, greater choice and more power at their fingertips today than at any time in our history," The Telegraph quoted John Petter, managing director of BT Communications, as saying.
According to the report, users had begun to look up to the internet for help regarding two of the major problems of recent times - the environment and the credit crunch.
One fifth of Britons seek advice on reducing the amount of energy their technological devices use, while, 23 per cent are making use of the internet to compare prices before making a purchase.
Most of the internet users said that reading someone else's emails or text messages was unacceptable, there were only 30 per cent, who considered it wrong to use a social networking site to test a spouse's faithfulness. But 5 per cent have actually admitted to do the same.
However, academics have warned against over-reliance on the Internet in our daily lives.
Almost 60 per cent Britons want to spend more time with their families and 34 per cent of people want to spend less time working.