Image of a person looking at their phone as they go online
Whether it's via phone or a laptop, there's no denying that we spend a huge amount of time online. (Image via Pixabay)

Internet Habits: How Do We Spend Our Time Online?

What are people actually doing when they’re on their computers or smartphones?

Screens x
Image of a person looking at their phone as they go online

What are people actually doing when they’re on their computers or smartphones?

The current generation of young people has spent a considerable part of their life in the internet age. Most young people can now easily access the internet using readily available mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The number of young people who can access computers is also increasing, meaning the number of young people using the internet is bound to grow rapidly as well. According to the 2019 report from Digital Information World, more than six hours of our day is spent online with the world’s average internet time being 6 hours, 42 minutes per day. But how do young people spend this time online?

1. They Use Social Media

Young people like socializing online more than adults. A considerable percentage of social media users are young people, who use social networking sites to keep in touch with their friends. According to a survey from Statista on the percentage of adults in the United States who use social media (as of February 2019), findings showed that 90% of 18-29 year olds used social media, whereas the percentage declines with older age groups with only 40% of people over 45 years old using it. One reason why young people spend so much time online is to make new friends and to keep in touch with people. They also spend their internet time keeping updated on the latest gossip about celebrities and influencers. Teens might value social media metrics more than others, such as likes and comments on their posts.

2. They Play Video Games

Video games are another popular activity young people like to do online. Online gaming has fast become popular over the years with the growth of live stream gaming and esports tournaments. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Centre, 49% of the teens who reported playing console and computer games also said that they play games online. Online gaming is not only fun entertainment for young people but it also helps them to connect more with their friends, improve on their gaming skills and enjoy some downtime.

3. They Gamble Online

As well as online gaming, the younger generation also spends some of their time on the internet gambling on online slots or browsing on sports betting websites. With many games and online casinos readily available on the internet, more and more people are interacting with these and gambling on slot games or betting on popular sporting events. While gambling laws and regulations vary in different countries around the world (many legalizing gambling for only those older than 18, or in some case, 21), one of the most important factors that needs to be considered is how to address problem gambling. In The Pogg’s guide to Safer Gambling: Addressing The Issue Of Problem Gambling,” accessibility, celebrity endorsements and gambling advertisements are just some factors that have a big impact on problem gamblers.

4. They Access Useful Information and News Updates

A lot of young people use the internet as they are interested in looking on websites about the latest TV shows, movies, music and celebrity gossip. Rather than listening to the radio or buying a newspaper, the younger generation also uses the internet for regular news updates. One of the main advantages of the internet is having access to information at your fingertips. Young people can use search engines and browse for anything from movie trivia to true crime documentaries to what to do during quarantine.

5. They Do Online Shopping

According to Statista, activities performed online by people in Great Britain in 2019 varied from internet banking and social networking to selling goods and making video calls. Results found that 78% of those surveyed were “finding information about goods and services” online. The growing popularity in online shopping has seen more and more companies set up online stores. With fast delivery and a wide catalog of products, many young people spend a considerable amount of their online time shopping, especially on popular websites like Amazon and ASOS. From college supplies and makeup, to clothing and DVDs, there are many items to buy online that are quick and easy to purchase in no time at all.

Leave a Reply