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New Poll Shows Shift in Amount of Time Spent on the Internet

More time online

time spent onlineA new poll released today by Harris Interactive reveals that adult internet users now average 13 hour per week online (which makes me personally anything but average, as you would guess). They found that 20% of adult web users are on for two hours or less each week while 14% spend 24+ hours online weekly.

From 1999-2002, the average hours spent online weekly was seven hours, then in 2003-2006 it bumped to between eight and nine hours, then in 2007 it jumped to 11 hours and now we’re averaging 13 hours weekly. I don’t know what the questionnaire asked specifically, but I wonder if people using the web on their cell phones were counted?

As a marketer, you should know that although people like me who spend at least 13 hours online each day, most consumers are spending that much in a week, meaning the window of opportunity to grab their attention for the specific task they are online to perform is very small, so make it punchy!

Guess who spends the most time online of all adults? It’s not the twenty somethings, it’s those aged 30-39 who spend 18 hours online each week and 62% of that same age group purchased something online last month.

80% of adults in America are now online either from work, home, or school which hasn’t changed much since 2008 despite the shift in the time invested online, although the number of those using the web from home has jumped up 10% since 2005.

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Why all these changes?

As technology becomes easier to use and less expensive, it permeates more markets. Speculators blame the recession for the increase in time online, stating that it’s cheaper to play online that it is to go to a movie or spend time out (although I speculate it’s not about the recession, it’s about a natural technology adaptation shift). Other technologies are rapidly being adopted like smart phones, more advanced televisions, GPS systems and the like that would make some frown confusedly just 10 years ago.

I suspect this amount of time will begin spiking in the next 24 months as people begin using mobile based applications more and more, I mean even my grandma knows what an iPhone “app” is now, so the web will soon be like the Macarena- everyone will know what it is, some will hail it, others will poo poo it, but regardless, we’ll continue investing our time in it as it currently has infinite possibilities.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Benn Rosales

    December 23, 2009 at 11:44 am

    In comparison to even two or three years ago, I’m online even when on the go, that has to be a huge factor.

  2. Thomas A. B. Johnson

    December 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I wonder if people even consider mobile online apps to be officially “online” when they take the survey. When I access Gmail on my blackberry, I am online.

  3. MIssy Caulk

    December 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm


  4. Jose R. Reyes

    December 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    When will print become extinct? 2 things I see that are really obvious to the near future (at least locally for me)Newspapers are going broke and will continue in a downward spiral. I get information instantly, print is at least a day behind. And 2nd, anyone go to a book store lately? I have, the inventory in scarce. Why would anyone pay retail and be limited to choices. When places like have everything and at competative prices. These are two things locally for me that really indicate and confirm that we are changing…Online is an amazing place and has allowed me to connect with great people including those at

  5. Jose R. Reyes

    December 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Lani, where do I upload my photo for my profile? I can’t find it anywhere.

    • Lani Rosales

      December 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm

      Hey Jose, thank you for the kind words above. 🙂

      To get your picture to show up in comments here (and on other sites), visit and upload a picture for the email you are commenting with. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  6. Megan McGinnis

    December 23, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    You just made my Top 10 List of Real Estate Blogs. Congratulations & Merry Christmas.


  7. Fred Romano

    December 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Jose, the photo is pulled from Gravatar. Visit and set up an account. It’s all based on the email you use. You can several emails all with different photos.

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