What are you doing on the Web? Most under 30 are wasting time
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 04/12/2011 16:44
The Internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time, allowing for a nearly instantaneous sharing of information that the world had never come close to previously.
But for most people under the age of 30 in the U.S., the Web is mostly a time killer, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
The internet as a diversion and destination
Americans are increasingly going online just for fun and to pass the time, particularly young adults under 30. On any given day, 53% of all the young adults ages 18-29 go online for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time. Many of them go online in purposeful ways, as well. But the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project show that young adults' use of the internet can at times be simply for the diversion it presents. Indeed, 81% of all young adults in this age cohort report they have used the internet for this reason at least occasionally.
These results come in the larger context that internet users of all ages are much more likely now than in the past to say they go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58% of all adults (or 74% of all online adults) say they use the internet this way. And a third of all adults (34%) say they used the internet that way "yesterday" - or the day before Pew Internet reached them for the survey. Both figures are higher than in 2009 when we last asked this question and vastly higher than in the middle of the last decade.
"These findings are one of our main signs about how deeply Internet use has woven itself into the rhythms of people's lives," report author and Pew Internet Lee Rainie told Mashable.
"When they have some down time, more and more of them are finding the Internet a fun, diverting place to spend their leisure moments. It's not necessarily surprising to see that this is a favorite pastime of young adults. It is a bit surprising to see that the incidence of this use has grown in every age demographic. The Internet is not just the playground of the young."
About the Survey
The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from July 25 to August 26, 2011, among a sample of 2,260 adults, age 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (1,344) and cell phone (916, including 425 without a landline phone). For results based on the total sample, the margin of error is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. For results based on Internet users (n=1,716), the margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.