Older generations take to tablets but TV remains their first love

Pensioner tablet

UK media regulator Ofcom has published the results of its latest Adults' Media Use and Attitudes report studying the media habits of people aged 16 and over.

Among the findings are that younger people spend more time online and that the number of over 65s accessing the web has increased by 27 percent between 2012 and 2013.

Internet access among under 35s is now almost universal with 98 percent going online. Among 45 to 54-year-olds 91 percent now go online (up from 84 percent in 2012) but the biggest increase is among over 65s. Ofcom suggests that this is due to the increased use of tablets by older people up from 5 percent in 2012 to 17 percent in 2013.

Computers are still the most popular way to access the internet, used by 78 percent, but two-thirds of adults also use other devices, such as tablets or smartphones, to surf the web.

Use of tablet computers to access the internet among all adults has almost doubled from 16 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2013. Nearly two-thirds (59 percent) of people now access the internet through a mobile phone, up by six percentage points since 2012.

What's also interesting is that more adults across all age groups are playing games, 42 percent compared to 35 percent in 2012. This is likely to be driven by increased internet access as well as the availability of smartphones and tablets.

Ofcom also finds that among smartphone users more than half of downloaded apps are redundant. On average users have downloaded 23 apps but only use 10 of them. When it comes to selecting apps more than three-quarters rely on recommendations from friends and family with under 20 percent relying on any form of advertising.

When asked about the technology they'd miss, TV comes out on top with 42 percent of all adults saying they'd notice the lack of the haunted fish tank most if it was taken away. There is big variation by age though, 47 percent of 16-24-year-olds say they'd miss their smartphone with only 13 percent naming TV, however, among over 65s the telly remains king with 68 percent saying they'd miss it.

Despite an enduring love for TV, the consumption of DVDs and Blu-Rays has fallen, only 55 percent watching them in 2013 compared to 63 percent in 2012. Just over half of internet users say they watch TV programs online.

More information on the findings of the report is available on the Ofcom website.

Do these findings reflect your experience? Which piece of technology would you miss the most? Let us know via the comments.

Image Credit: Ljupco Smokovski / Shutterstock

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