Rise of the internet helps to create 'techie teen' generation header image

The increasingly important role the internet plays in everyday life has helped to create a generation of technology-savvy teenagers in the UK.

This is according to new research from Ofcom, which claims 14 and 15-year-olds are now the most technologically-competent people in the country.

Such individuals, who were born at the turn of the millennium, are the first generation to benefit from broadband and other digital communications technologies throughout their childhood.

This means they have significantly different habits than older generations when it comes to communications. For example, children aged 12 to 15 only spend three per cent of their communications time talking on the phone, as they prefer options such as instant messaging and social networking.

However, 20 per cent of adults' time is spent chatting over the phone, while email is far more popular among this group than it is with younger Britons.

Ofcom also revealed the average UK adult now spends eight hours and 41 minutes per day using media or communications technology, which is more time than they spend sleeping (eight hours and 21 minutes).

It is 18 to 24-year-olds who use this technology most, with the telecoms watchdog saying the typical person in this age group 'crams' 14 hours of media and communications activity into nine hours and eight minutes each day by using multiple devices and media at once.

The organisation found 44 per cent of households now own a tablet, which is up from 24 per cent only one year earlier. Ownership of these devices is even prevalent among older generations, with 28 per cent of people over 55 now possessing one.

Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive, stated: "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 benefiting from new technology."