London, May 20 (ANI): A new survey has found that Britons now spend more of their Internet time visiting news websites than looking at pornography.
Web users spend an average of 2.8 percent of their surfing time looking at news, as against 2.7 percent for online websites.
According to research by the United Kingdom Online Measurement Company (UKOM), the proportion of web time Britons spent looking at explicit content has fallen over the last three years.
Alex Burmaster of UKOM said that the figures punctured one of the myths of the technology world - that the Internet owes its popularity to pornography.
"The prevalence of web adult usage has always been greatly overestimated. The reality is completely different," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
"To read about the internet you might think that all people do is browse for pornography, but that sector is not as large as people think it is," he stated.
The study also showed that Britons now spend the equivalent of nearly a day a month online.
The amount of time we spend surfing the web has increased by 65 percent over the last three years, with the average surfer spending 22 hours and 15 minutes online each month.
Social networking is the most popular single online activity, with sites like Facebook and Twitter accounting for 22.7 percent of our surfing time.
The UKOM analysis showed that sending and receiving email was the second most popular thing to do on the web (7.2 percent of online time), just ahead of playing online games (6.9 percent).
But the rise of social networking sites appears to be killing off instant messaging services like MSN Messenger. We now spend just 4.9 percent of our web time on these sites, down from 14.2 percent in 2007.
The figures also show that people are increasingly turning to the Internet to read news; the proportion of Internet time spent on news websites has increased from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent in three years.
"Despite the large increase in the amount of time people spend online and the increasing proliferation of websites and online services, one thing has remained constant and that is the bulk of time accounted for by communicating, networking and playing games," Burmaster said.
"These are the pillars on which the Internet as a heavily used medium are built," he added.
The research analysed the Internet use of Britons who went online at least once in the past month. (ANI)