Britain's love affair with technology means more are willing to cut back on other luxuries such as holidays and meals out, than the latest mobile phones, televisions and internet access, according to a study by Ofcom.
The watchdog's annual report reveals mobiles, televisions and the internet are viewed second only to food in spending priority. The poll of 862 people found that while 41 per cent are willing to cut back on holidays, only ten per cent would do the same with internet access.
The communications market report also found that there has been a rise in the number of hours people use social networking sites. 19m people – around 50 per cent of all UK internet users – admitted spending around six hours every month on Facebook – up two hours from last year.
According to Ofcom, 47 per cent said they would cut back on eating out, 41 per cent on DIY and 41 per cent on holidays. In contrast, 19 per cent were willing to cut back on their mobile phone, 16 per cent on TV subscriptions and ten per cent on internet access.
The watchdog suggested that the lowering cost of communications technology is behind people's reluctance to give it up. "Despite the recession, people are spending more time watching TV, using their mobile phone or accessing the internet," a spokesperson for Ofcom said.
"They would rather do without meals out or holidays than give up their phone, broadband or pay TV package. Meanwhile, we are becoming more canny about the way we pay for these services.
"Almost half of us economise by taking a bundle of communications services from a single supplier, while one-fifth opt for cheaper mobile contracts which don't include an expensive new phone."