Mobile and social media are the driving forces of the next wave of digital change. But these advances are reducing our attention spans and creating new dilemmas for the way we live and work, says Nic Newman.
It used to be the case that British people had a reputation for buttoned-up restraint.
Today we are some of the most active social networkers in the world - sharing our party pictures, our music playlists and our deepest secrets with hardly a moment's thought. More than 60% of online users actively maintain a Facebook profile, and social networking is our favourite activity online in terms of time spent.
There is, of course, a link between the two. More than 40% of that mobile activity is driven by social networking, in addition to downloading videos, shopping and consuming timely information such as news and sport.
With record smartphone sales in the run-up to Christmas and new 4G services launching in the UK by the summer, the stage is now set for faster and more reliable connection speeds and a new generation of mobile products and services and more addictive usage as a result.