Science

Britons 'wilfing' away their days on web: poll

British internet users waste an average of two days a month "wilfing," or aimlessly browsing the web, according to a study released Tuesday.

British internet users waste an average of two days a month "wilfing," or aimlessly browsing the web, according to a study released Tuesday.

More than two-thirds ofrespondents admitted to wilfing — which stands for "What was I looking for? — according to a study published by price comparison site moneysupermarket.com.

A quarter of respondents said they spend as much as 30 per cent of their time on the internet surfing without purpose, with shopping, news and travel websites the most likely destinations of their wanderings.

Men are also bigger wilfers than women, with one-third of respondents saying the practice had been detrimental to their relationship with their partner. One in five men also confessed to being "distracted" by adult entertainment websites.

Cary Cooper, a professor of psychology and health at Lancaster University, told Scottish newspaper the Herald the motivation behind the practice would depend on where it was happening. Wilfing at work may arise from being bored with the job or being stuck working long hours, he said.

"At home, it can be a way of procrastinating, or of not wanting to — or being unable to — engage with the family," he told the Herald.

The research, conducted by the YouGov polling group, based its findings on a survey of 2,412 adults.

now