Days of our lives

IPA Touchpoints 4
IPA Touchpoints 4

Most of us are happy, women feel tired and young people are worried, according to the IPA's fourth Touchpoints survey. IPA research director Lynne Robinson reports.

Given the current economic climate, it is not surprising that the way we spend our time is changing. We are spending less time working, both overall and at work, and less time shopping and socialising. As a result, we are spending more time at home - currently 17.5 hours per day, which is up 20 minutes per day from 2010 and 30 minutes per day from 2008.

In an Olympic year, it is interesting that the amount of time we spend playing sports - about 2.5 hours per week - is relatively constant. However, we are spending an increasing amount of time - almost 1.5 hours per day - doing nothing in particular, up 13 minutes per day from 2010 and 26 minutes per day from 2008.

Of all purchases we make in a week, 57 per cent are for £20 or less and 4 per cent are online. Cash is still the dominant method of payment, and only 1 per cent of people say they use the new "tap and go" technology per month.

How we communicate

Social networking is continuing to grow rapidly, up 7 per cent from 2010, with 44 per cent of adults now social networking for an average of 6 hours 39 minutes per week - the same amount of time as in 2010.

47 per cent of people are using SMS/picture messaging, a rise of 8 per cent from 2010, and we are spending longer doing this - at 6 hours 18 minutes per week - compared with 5 hours 53 minutes per week in 2010.

Also on the rise is people talking on mobile phones, with 60 per cent of adults using them each week, compared with 57 per cent in 2010. However, we are using them for five minutes less per week than in 2010, and now spend 4 hours 25 minutes per week talking on them.

67 per cent of us are using e-mail, a rise of 5 per cent from 2010. However, we are spending 50 minutes less time - at 9 hours 2 minutes - e-mailing per week than we did in 2010. Instant messaging is also declining slightly.

Writing to someone is falling rapidly, with only 14 per cent of all adults writing to someone each week, compared with 22 per cent in 2010.

Given the growth in electronic communication, we are spending less time - only 5 hours 13 minutes per day - talking face to face, although women are still talking significantly more often, and for longer, than men at an extra 1 hour 2 minutes per day in 2012, compared with an extra 43 minutes per day in 2010.


We are happy most of the time, recording just over eight hours of happiness per average day. Our second major feeling is one of tiredness, which we feel for just over 2.5 hours per day.

15- to 24-year-olds are significantly more emotional - being angrier, more excited, more bored, less confident, less hopeful and more worried than adults in general. Men are more confident than women, and women spend more time feeling tired.


Television remains the dominant medium in terms of average daily hours consumed, at 3.6 hours per day. For adults, this is followed by outdoor, radio and the internet. For 15- to 24-year-olds, the second-largest medium is the internet, followed by outdoor, social networking and radio.

The increase in overall media usage means that we are doing more media multitasking, with the percentage of adults using two or more media in the same half-hour rising from 76 per cent in 2010 to 79 per cent per half-hour in 2012.

The relatively new practice of "double screening" is growing rapidly. Nearly half of all adults and three-quarters of 15- to 24-year-olds surf the internet on their laptop while watching television,and slightly more than a quarter of adults and just over half of 15- to 24-year-olds surf the internet on their phone while watching television per month. Looking at just television, one in five adults and two in five 15- to 24-year-olds watch a television programme via the internet while watching another programme on a set.

The media conglomerates are providing their services across an increasing number of media platforms and channels. In total, BBC services now reach 98 per cent of all adults, followed by ITV and Channel 4, which reach 87 per cent and 82 per cent of all adults respectively.


9 per cent of adults use a tablet computer at least once a month compared with 8 per cent who use an e-book. Tablet use is younger, while e-book use is older. One-third of adults use apps each month, with 10 per cent of all adults listening to live radio through an app.

A significant number of us are using alternative devices to a regular television set to watch television on a weekly basis: 6 per cent are using an internet-connected set and 8 per cent use a games console. In terms of viewing on mobile devices, 18 per cent watch on a laptop, 9 per cent on a mobile phone, 3 per cent on a portable media player, 2 per cent on a tablet and 2 per cent on a portable games console.

While we are reading fewer printed copies of magazines and newspapers, increasingly we are using apps and the web to access our chosen titles. Apps and website usage adds another 24 per cent reach to the quality dailies' print total, 14 per cent reach to the mid-markets and 12 per cent reach to the tabloids. For major magazines, apps and websites add about 9 per cent to the print reach.

39 per cent of all adults use a catch-up/on-demand television service per week, 30 per cent via the television set and 18 per cent via the internet.

Just over one in ten adults claim to be accessing the new mobile phone-based geolocation services on a monthly basis, with a similar number using their mobile phones to research products in-store and also to search for local deals.


76 per cent of adults now use the internet on a weekly basis, which marks a 4 per cent growth in use since 2010. The most common way of accessing the internet is still via a PC or laptop, with 74 per cent of adults doing this each week.

However, increasingly we are using other devices to access the internet: 38 per cent of all adults and 62 per cent of 15- to 24-year-olds access the internet via a mobile phone each week; 6 per cent of all adults connect via a tablet each week and 13 per cent use a games console.

42 per cent of all adults only use one device to access the internet each week; 29 per cent use two devices; 8 per cent use three devices and 2 per cent use four devices or more.

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