Australians spent a whopping 21.9 billion hours on the Internet in one form or another between April 2017 and March 2018 says recently released research from Roy Morgan.
This figure was clocked up at home, at school, while at work, traveling or elsewhere, and was up 2.1 billion hours on the 12 months to September 2016.
It will probably come as no surprise social media featured heavily in online use, accounting for 5.9 billion hours (around 27%).
Of the 21.9 billion hours, close to 14.9 billion hours of them were spent online at home compared to just over 7.0 billion hours spent actively online at work, school and elsewhere. How much of the work component (4.6 billion hours) was actually for work and not personal use wasn’t gauged.
We spent more time online than watching TV (18.6 billion hours), listening to radio (14.6 billion hours), reading newspapers (1.8 billion hours) and reading magazines (.8 billion hours). Whether that TV figure includes streaming to smart TV’s isn’t clear*. While online time went up during the April 2017 to March 2018 period, consumption of the other media sources mentioned all dropped; with radio listening time dropping the most (500,000 hours).
Roy Morgan provided some interesting food for thought on the results:
“When one considers an estimated third of our day is spent sleeping (8 hours), around three-quarters of our time is spent either working, consuming media, or fast asleep,” said the company’s CEO, Michele Levine.
.. so obviously we could squeeze in even more time on the internet if we all tried a little harder. After all, there’s still 6 hours each day doing other stuff that could be re-evaluated – and 8 hours sleep is just way over the top.
A bit of trivia: the average lifespan of an Australian these days is around 83 years, which works out to 727,080 hours. So, the time we Australians spent on the internet during the reporting period was equivalent to the collective lifespans of 30,120 people. Whether that is something to be amazed by or seriously concerned about is hard to say. Perhaps a bit of both.
*On a related note, with regard to streaming video services, another Roy Morgan report from June last year stated more 1 in 3 Australians were in a household with a NetFlix subscription and an estimated 2,714,000 Australian homes were subscribed. Early this year, Ampere Analysis reported 59.1 per cent of Australian internet users were subscribed to at least one SVOD service.