Survey shows first ever decline in Internet usage, but there's a catch

By on October 18, 2012, 9:30 AM

A new study from Forrester reveals that people are spending less time using the Internet than they have in the past couple of years. In a survey of 58,000 US adults, respondents claimed to spend approximately 19.6 hours using the Internet during a typical week. That’s down from 21.9 hours last year and 20.6 hours in 2010. 

It’s the first time Forrester has noted a drop in Internet usage since they started asking the question way back in 1997. Surely the statisticians must have made a mistake, right?

No, but there is more here than meets the eye. In short, people are actually online more than ever but they don’t perceive it to be time spent using the Internet.

Analysts at Forrester suggest that “being online” is becoming a fluid concept in today’s society. They say that consumers no longer consider some online activities as related to using the Internet. It’s become such a normal aspect of life that many don’t even realize they’re using the Internet. It’s not until people perform tasks like searching that they consider themselves as being online.

Case in point is the fact that an increasing number of Americans are “always online” through mobile phones or tablets. Tasks like checking Facebook, using Google Maps, listening to streaming music and watching videos on Netflix or Hulu Plus don’t even register as Internet-based activities.

What do you think? Do you feel like you are spending less time on the Internet due to the fact that smartphones and tablets keep you “connected” at all times?




User Comments: 10

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VitalyT VitalyT said:

So, Internet is retiring? - so am I.

Next article!...

SalaSSin said:

Speaking for myself, I'm conciously on internet about 10h/day.

However I'm online about 24h/day (what with smartphone checking mails during the night, using google maps to navigate when in car, ...)

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I'm almost 60 hours a day in the internet

My iPhone is 24/7, my iPad is 24/7, plus my desktop is about 12 hours every day, that's 60 hours

(P.S. It's on my business account, so I don't care about the cost)

Just two years ago this would have seemed unthinkable to me, but today it is normal.

P.S. Did somebody hack the statistics database?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

The following is the highest rated storage device: [link]

Yes, it is not cheap, but for 6TB of fast storage via Thunderbolt it is a really good one

Jay Pfoutz Jay Pfoutz, Malware Helper, said:

People surprisingly use apps more than anything, and some apps don't use the Internet access all the time. That's why major cell phone providers have lowered the package rates for unlimited data access: more availability of Internet speed, less usage. It's a good deal overall. These cell phone companies must be wanting people to spend a lot of data.

davimous said:

Anyone else notice that every category is down in 2012? I somehow doubt people are exercising more. Statisticlly speaking this study failed.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

My pc is online 24/7, 365. I'm on it from about 4am till 7 or 8 pm with numerous breaks in between.

I'm not addicted to the net, I'm just a news junkie. & no, I didn't read the full original article,yet.

Dawn1113 said:

I don't use the internet as often as my friends do. I'm guessing I'm online three to four hours a day.

My job does not require me to be online all the time. I use the internet for research and sundry communications, yes, but that is mostly it. At home, I actually disconnect my gaming rig when I'm not in a multiplayer mood. I don't have a Facebook account, I don't tweet, and I check my email only when I have to.

I guess I still have one foot in the Stone Age.

dawei1993 said:

My pc is online 24/7, 365. I'm on it from about 4am till 7 or 8 pm with numerous breaks in between.

I'm not addicted to the net, I'm just a news junkie. & no, I didn't read the full original article,yet.

wow I hope you exercise in your other free times... Take care of your eyes buddy!

learninmypc learninmypc said:

wow I hope you exercise in your other free times... Take care of your eyes buddy!

I assure you I get plenty of exercise & my eye site is fine, thanks.

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