Americans spend as much time online as watching TV

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According to Forrester Research, 2010 marked the first year Americans spent as much time on the Internet as they did watching TV. The outfit surveyed some 40,000 people to collect data for its latest Technographics report and found that the average American now spends about 13 hours each week using the Internet and viewing offline TV programs.

That includes consumers aged 45 to 54, who previously spent less time online. For the last few years, people younger than 30 have spent more time online than watching TV, and the same is now true for those aged 31 to 44.


Interestingly, despite the Web's 121% usage increase in the last five years, people have spent around the same amount of time watching TV. However, the Internet is affecting print magazines and newspapers, as well as traditional radio, which are down 18%, 26% and 15% in consumption levels. This shift will undoubtedly continue as Forrester expects that 2 million new households will be connected to the Internet by the end of 2010 compared to last year.

Online shopping and social networking have seen the greatest increase in popularity in recent years, as both have about doubled in activity since 2007. Email remains the most popular online activity, while streaming Internet music/radio and reading blogs ranks as the least popular.

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