Where do people spend their time online?

How much time to people spend online ... and doing what?With the ever-growing options for where people spend their time when online, what’s the latest in terms of their online behaviors?

That’s the question The Buntin Group, a MarComm and branding agency, and Survey Sampling International (SSI) were trying to answer when they conducted a survey of American web users in May 2013. 

The survey was conducted among adults who use at least two tech platforms (including e-mail, text or social) to connect with others during a given week.

What the survey found is that Americans are spending more time than ever online – about 23 hours per week on average.  That’s nearly a full day out of a seven-day week.

Drilling down further, the survey found that e-mail communications continues to be the most prevalent online activity, but it’s followed closely by Facebook:

  • Average time per week spent on e-mail communications:  7.8 hours
  • Average time spent on Facebook:  6.8 hours
  • Average time spent on YouTube:  5.0 hours
  • Average time on Google+:  4.3 hours
  • Average time on Twitter:  4.2 hours

In keeping with these findings, the survey also found that e-mail and Facebook are where most respondents log in most often to communicate with others:

Social Platforms used by Internet Users

But here’s another interesting finding from the survey:  From time to time, even the most digitally connected people find themselves fatigued by all of their online activity.

In fact, nearly 55% of the survey respondents reported that they had “walked away from technology at least occasionally” in the past year to gain more in-person time.

An even larger ~62% reported that they plan to reduce their “tech socializing time” in the upcoming year and instead focus on more face-to-face interaction.

Speaking personally, e-mail and YouTube are indispensable to me.  Facebook is a “nice to have” platform when it comes to keeping up with friends and family — and I usually check in once a day.  But I have gone as long as two weeks without logging on and haven’t felt worse for it. 

I spend far less time on Twitter than the survey average … and I don’t even have a Google+ account (nor do I have any plans to set one up).

What about you?  Based on your experience, does 23 hours of online activity weekly seem excessive – or close to the mark? 

Do you take “online vacations” periodically?  And which online activities are most important and valuable to you?  Please share your thoughts here.

2 thoughts on “Where do people spend their time online?

  1. I think 23 hours sounds like a lot, unless we’re counting all the time we spend on email at the office rather than just our personal use.

    From a business viewpoint, I think LinkedIn has a lot of uptapped potential.

  2. I wonder what age group was surveyed for this report? I know my two daughters spend a disproportionate amount of time on Twitter. FB is for the “older’ folks, I am told.

    I am pretty tired of FB myself. I check my e-mail and several accounts several times a day, but when I am on vacation … I am ON VACATION. Ha-ha.

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