Internet as Pastime
Written by Janet Swift   
Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Why are you reading this? Did you by any chance come across this item "just for fun". If so you are in good company.

On a typical day, 53% of young adults in the US go online just for fun and to pass the time. This is the headline finding in a report from Pew Research based on its Internet & American Life Project.

The researchers, however, are not passing judgment, rather they are commenting on the steady increase over time of people using the internet as a pastime. Newspapers and magazines have always been about entertainment as well as information so we probably shouldn't be surprised.

However, for developers the demographics shown in the table are illuminating.

 

pewfun

 

This table has comparative data from 2000, when the Internet & American Life Project began and the most data in July/August 2011 in answer to the question "Do you ever go online for no particular reason, just for fun or to pass the time?".

Males are revealed to more likely to do this than females and younger adults are much more prone to this behavior than their elders. Education and income (factors that are undoubtedly correlated) are also indicators with a higher proportion of those at the top levels going online "just for fun".

The chart below is more specific as it gives the result of the same question asked about "yesterday".

 

pewfun2

 

While over half of the 18-29 age group had passed time on the Internet the previous day, only a third of the entire survey had done so. However, all groups showed a significant increase in this behavior over the past 5 years.

More Information:

The internet as a diversion and destination (Pew Research)

 

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