Sick man with flu or cold.
Well that’s not good at all.
A new survey by research company DoubleVerify found that we currently spend around seven hours a day consuming online content. Perhaps it’s not that surprising since we don’t attend live sporting events at home and (hopefully) avoid most social events.
The jump, however, is monumental. In the past, according to the company, we typically consumed media three hours a day. YouTube streaming has increased 43% since the pandemic began. With a 40% increase in usage, we’re even more obsessed with Facebook.
TikTok is also more on our minds than ever. For all age groups, the increase for the viral video app is around 18%, for everyone in the target group between 18 and 24 years of age, the increase is 40%.
In terms of the devices we use, smartphone usage has increased dramatically (54%), and even devices that are normally idle all day are consuming all of our time. For example, the use of smart television increased by 44% during the pandemic.
You could It’s easy to see that digital technology is consuming us rather than the other way around. Instagram and Twitter usage also increased by 32% and 23%, respectively. The survey asked about 10,000 people to see how they use media these days.
My biggest surprise is YouTube. I would have chosen Facebook or Instagram over this video platform, but then again, the app seems to be more widely available. We can watch viral video on any device we own, from televisions to tablets to phones. Unlike Instagram and TikTok, which we mostly use on phones, we also see YouTube on our laptops.
The survey said: “The biggest increases have been in social media, with almost half (48%) of consumers spending more time on social platforms. Overall, YouTube saw the biggest surge in interest. 43% of consumers spent more time on the platform. Meanwhile, TikTok saw the highest growth in the 18-24 age group. “
Now let’s stop for a moment and think about what’s going on here. Our devices are always at hand to start with. I used to think we might not unplug our phones that often, but we actually use them more at home even though they are meant to be mobile devices. We are incredibly bored and it seems that reading books is getting old.
As for YouTube, there is an odd psychological effect. As humans, we like to keep educating ourselves. It’s more than just the fear of missing out. When we are too inactive, we tend to think that we are not productive. We find cooking videos, watch TED lectures, and look for videos that explain how to create a bullet journal. (Guilty in this case.)
My nephew once restored a classic Range Rover with mostly YouTube explainer videos. My thought process here is: Great for us. We are great at educating ourselves. Now we need to figure out how to avoid the trap of constant self-education and media consumption.
I can tell you what I’m doing First of all, I have a stack of books. I’ve strayed into unknown territory and read novels, books about expeditions that went horribly wrong, and even an encyclopedia about New York. I don’t even live in New York.
I try to avoid constant self-training and enjoy simple pleasures like reading in my spare time. I read just like I watch a movie.
I also hike a lot more than ever before. We’re talking about 15,000 steps per day. I recently walked from one end of town to the other just because I had the time and it’s safe.
What about you? I’d love to hear how to avoid constant media consumption. If you send me your tips and tricks, I’ll do a follow-up piece on the best advice.
Until then, we’ll all turn off the phones and screens and just relax. Perhaps next year a survey will finally suggest that we’d better curb our usage.