Staying up-to-date on emails, social media and other forms of online communication can take a lot of time — more time than many people may realize. New research has found that the average user spends 23 hours every week emailing, texting, using social media and communicating online in other ways.
That number represents nearly 14% of the total time in a week. All that time is taking a toll on users, a new eMarketer report found. However, 54% of survey respondents said they have tried to decrease their reliance on technology in the past year in favor of more in-person contact. That number is only set to grow, with 62% of web users in the United States saying they hope to be able to decrease tech usage in the coming year so they can communicate face-to-face.
Despite those efforts, over the past year, users have increased the time they have spent using social networks, emailing, watching online videos, playing online games and reading or writing blogs. Additionally, time spent each day on online radio, newspapers and magazines has remained constant over the past year.
Email is the biggest time consumer, researchers found. Respondents said they spend nearly eight hours per week checking emails. They also said they spend nearly seven hours per week on Facebook and five hours per week on YouTube. Moreover, users spend nearly the same amount of time each week on Google+ and Twitter.
Users are checking those platforms with varying frequency, though, the eMarketer report found. More than 75% of users checked email, texts, Facebook and Instagram at least one time a day. Other new platforms are growing in popularity as well.
“Photo-focused sites, particularly suited to mobile, seem to be especially popular,” the eMarketer report said. “Instagram saw 70% of users logging in daily, and the relatively new Snapchat was just behind, with 67% of its users logging in daily.”
Two-thirds of users also said they check YouTube once per day, while nearly 60% check Google+ daily. Just 40% of LinkedIn users check the site daily, but nearly half check it several times a week.
“Even as web users report a desire to disconnect, and discussion circulates about Facebook users decreasing time spent, it remains to be seen whether social users will follow through on that promise to log off, or perhaps simply translate their time spent on social to the sites that best suit their communication needs,” the eMarketer report said.