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Social Networks The Internet Communications IT

Time On Social Networks Almost Doubles In a Year 87

GWMAW! writes "Spending more time on social networks and blogs? You're not alone, with the latest figures showing the number of minutes spent on social networking sites in the United States has almost doubled over the past year."
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Time On Social Networks Almost Doubles In a Year

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  • Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by snowraver1 ( 1052510 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:34PM (#28199809)
    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:54PM (#28200123)

      Since 1961 time on social networks has increased infinity fold every year. Yet in the last year it's slowed down to just doubling. Guess the party is over.

    • Want to be my friend on slashdot? I wanna read your journal, do you want to read mine?

      I think you need to use larger values of 0 ;-)

    • A rise of 83% would be significant if the growth were arithmetic (a growth entirely based on an 83% increase in each individual's usage, for example), but common sense would suggest that the growth is geometric, since a growing user-base leads to an increased time-commitment for each user. By its very nature, a social-network demands more attention as it grows.

      A quick beer-mat calculation suggests that, if an increased user-base of 35% (hardly astounding) led to an increased equivalent per-user time-commit

    • 0^2= 3 for larger values of 0
  • Unemployment? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Altus ( 1034 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:39PM (#28199887) Homepage

    Could this correlate to an increase in unemployment? I know when I was unemployed I spent a lot more time on the internet in general. Not so much on social networking sites, but they weren't nearly as popular back then.

    • Maybe, but I don't think so. I think social sites like this one are where the conversation is taking place.
    • That was my first thought.

      But I'd say it's also likely that there are more people in general spending time on social networking sites.

      I'm not fond of them, in general, but now I need to spend 2-3 hours weekly on them in order to stay up to date with my family and distant friends (time I used to spend emailing them).

      I think there's a grain of truth to the idea that they really are becoming more ubiquitous as centers of communication.
      • Re:Unemployment? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Altus ( 1034 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:57PM (#28200177) Homepage

        Personally I hate the fact that I need a facebook account to keep up wiht friends I live within a few miles of.

        One of my friends recently got engaged. Ive known this guy for 15+ years. We have always been close, we traveled to Europe together. He is part of a tight knit group of friends who have known each other since high school. I see him fairly regularly, once ever couple of weeks at least.

        How did he inform his 5-10 oldest friends that he had chosen to take a major step in his life. Did he call them, did he put together a small email detailing how he proposed and so forth? No... he updated his fucking facebook relationship status.

        You have got to be fucking kidding me.

        I mean sure, that's a reasonable way for your freshman year roommate who you haven't seen in person for 5 years to find out that you are engaged, but your close friends, you cant even put together a couple of sentences and send out an email?

        I get the appeal of these sites, I do. Its a great way to maintain minimal contact with people you wouldn't usually see or keep track of. To keep a tenuous thread of communication open where it otherwise would have failed. The problem is, it doesn't stop there. It encourages all communication to go through this source and people start thinking of their friends as names on a screen rather than people they see.

        Sure, you don't have to be a punk like he was... but the existence and use of these sites certainly encourages people to do just that.

        • Heh, I'm with you 100% on that.

          If you're invited to the wedding, you should post your response on facebook. When his fiancee nags him about your response card, he'll get the point (maybe). Even better, send him (and his fiancee) an email asking why the invites weren't done online, it would be so much easier.

          Maybe I'm becoming an old fart, but some things need to be done in person. Others you can do over the phone if necessary. But it seems to me your buddy should have invited all the guys out for a
        • by yali ( 209015 )

          you cant even put together a couple of sentences and send out an email?

          Funny, I can remember a time when it would have been considered rude to do any serious personal stuff over email, which was considered too informal []. If you're the original holder of that 4-digit account, you should be old enough to remember that time too.

          Sure, you don't have to be a punk like he was... but the existence and use of these sites certainly encourages people to do just that.

          I think you're too hard on the medium. To me, Facebo

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          "You have got to be fucking kidding me."

          Yeah, really. That's what Twitter is for. Then you update your Facebook Relationship status.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by SWolf1 ( 1569499 )
          A little over a year ago my now ex-girlfriend broke up with me. In her break-up letter did she talk about heartfelt feelings or wonderful memories? No, she talked about how she didn't want to unfriend me on facebook, but was going to limit my viewing priveleges. It was then I realized how lucky I was she dumped me.
        • I agree. You story, and the fact that social networking seems to be diverging communications standards (I have a daughter on Facebook, one on MySpace and one on Twitter - "I don't use email, Dad..."), is one of the worst things about these sites.
    • I think its manyfold. One is the decline of e-mail, yes, its still used but I don't hardly e-mail anyone except for work. I do most of my non-work communication through Facebook or instant messenger. Plus, entire businesses have been sprung up on Facebook along with a general cultural attitude that its ok for everyone to have a Facebook, its no longer exclusive to geeks and students.
    • The number of people who don't have lives has doubled in the past year. Whether due to losing their jobs or other reasons, I'd say yes it is because those people aren't spending money elsewhere.
    • Now that I'm unemployed, I don't have time to futz around on the internet.. I'm busy job hunting!

    • I now have an office job where I can surf the internet at work all I want (Security) so I've increased my overall online time, while also increasing my overall work hours.

      And that's alright with me.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      The internet is really the cheapest form of entertainment and social networks are a part of that. Cheaper even than public transport to visit and interact with friends or find new friends. Social networks are the most effective means by which people can share their problems and look for solutions and, where solutions are not forth coming at least escape from their problems for a time.

      What is really happening is the activity is just spreading down the line from computer geeks and nerds to the 'er' dumbest

    • Kinda ironic. It's usually when I have a job that I am spending more time on the internet (probably because I hate my job :)

      The last time I lost my job a lot of my messenger contacts wondered why I was lost for months while I used to talk to them daily before that.

      When I am at home I wish to do something more creative with my computer and I am never in the mood to watch random stuff on the internet (I am even repeled away from reading an interesting article). But at work I have a quite different mood :)

  • Well.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:39PM (#28199893)
    Well within the last year its become acceptable for everyone to have a Facebook, from Jr. High kids up to grandparents. Even last year Facebook was seen as only really used by high school and college kids. Now almost everyone, from my boss, coworkers and even my grandparents have a Facebook. Also, the popularity of code and host it yourself websites have been largely replaced with blogs so that would increase that popularity.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Time Wasted on the Internet Almost Doubles In a Year

  • by xpuppykickerx ( 1290760 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:43PM (#28199933)
    I didn't really spend a lot of time on Facebook until I purchased an iPhone. Now with the app for that and Twitter, I find myself spending more time on these sites than normally due to accessibility. Kinda common sense comes into play here.
  • In the Last Year... (Score:2, Informative)

    by gubers33 ( 1302099 )
    Facebook has been increasingly gaining users from the ages of 30+ for both social networking with work as well as personal. Just a year ago most of these users did not even think about joining facebook. I mean lets remember, it was just a few years ago that Facebook was reserved for those with an .edu email address.
  • People are getting bigger than ever, there has been an explosion in waist sizes say baffled doctors.


  • hold on, i think i'm going to have to tweet this fun little nugget of statistical data :)
  • I wonder if other activities have lost corresponding market share -- like television watching, reading, hobbies... This could have an impact on tv advertising revenue. Some of the RIAA's losses could probably even be attributed to people not having as much time to go to record stores. Maybe they'll sue MySpace and Facebook for "theft of audience."

    • My own TV time has certainly dropped. These days, I'm more likely to be online instead of plopped in front of the TV.

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        My own TV time has certainly dropped. These days, I'm more likely to be online instead of plopped in front of the TV.

        That is why Dr Phil has episodes like "digital mistakes". []

        I'm sure oprah, the soaps, etc, will all mobilize against the horrors of online socializing. It takes time away from watching their shows. Even worse, young people use those services and we have to sit thru the agonizingly overdone expose that anything young people do, is the devil, because they do it.

        Expect to hear a lot more about "craiglist killer" etc from the mainstream media, at least until the MSM collapse

    • I have not watch broadcast television or used my Tivo since February and I seem to be keeping up fine with pop cultural references and the like in conversations. I'm going to cancel my cable forever this summer. I use Hulu but instead of watching 4-5 shows I watch 3 now and I get all my news in textual form. One thing I have begun noticing is that when discussing a current event lately that my liberal (MSNBC) and conservative (foxnews) friends quickly gel into imitative stances on any issue that seem to
  • Depressing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wisesifu ( 1358043 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:49PM (#28200031)
    I have never seen a more depressing statistic. I still don't use these sites and see them mostly as a waste of time. I can understand why they are popular, but with all the privacy issues I really don't understand why you would want to risk so much of your identity/information.
    • Because of a few reasons. One is that you don't have to risk that much information, anything I would consider really sensitive I don't have on my profile. Really what is so sensitive that is an invasion of privacy thats on Facebook?
    • And yet, you're posting on Slashdot. How's that for depressing? ;)

    • There's a reverse side to that issue. If the truth about what people are like, and what people do - is known - then it becomes harder to label certian things as "deviant".

      Or you could be like me, i am disabled. I will never again concern myself with an employers scouring eyes or opinions. I really do have "free speech".
    • Um, you don't have to give any information that you don't want people to see.

      Is it depressing that you're posting on Slashdot? Obviously, you only publish or put on your profile what you want people to see.

      I'd also point out that Facebook (as well as places like LiveJournal) are much better than Slashdot when it comes to privacy, as you can have several levels, e.g., restricting information to only be visible to some people. On Slashdot, it's visible to all. So why are you here?

    • I think that most people like facebook and similar sites because it depicts socialization as understood by the average joe. Socialization as an end in itself.

      It's all about joining the network, adding people as friends even those you don't know well or never call you, poking each other, sending stupid quiz and silly games, writting mundane things, activities that for creative people might seem boring. Socializing for the sake of socializing.

      At least this is how I understand it and the main reason I don't li

  • You sheep get off my lawn!

  • by starglider29a ( 719559 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:54PM (#28200117)
    Social!? It's barely civil!
  • by TeknoHog ( 164938 ) on Wednesday June 03, 2009 @03:56PM (#28200153) Homepage Journal
    Or is this more like an antisocial network?
    • No, that would be

      Props to Billosaur, who I got that from.

      Judging by some of the flamewars, slashdot is more like a sociopath network than anything else.
    • No more antisocial then half the people on myspace.

      At least we don't complain about it.

    • You joke, but I'd bet that two significant factors accounting for the appeal of social networking sites are narcissism and the fact that you don't have to make eye contact. Interaction on social networking sites is, in my experience, closer to monologue than dialogue. When you go to dinner with someone or walk down the street with them, you have a conversation, but Facebook and such are just a series of status updates optionally followed by some pithy comments from your friends. (Or, for the exceptionally l
  • If it has ever been considered cool, trendy or otherwise "the thing to do" then I didn't do it. Among these things are the pubic-mound-tuft of hair that encircles a man's mouth, the tribal tattoo (or a tattoo of any kind), PINK SHIRTS, tying sweaters around one's shoulders and any hair cut that would utterly humiliate someone ten years later.

    This crap is not hard to avoid. It doesn't matter if "chicks dig it" at any point in time. "Chicks" minds are like milk -- only good "now" but if you wait a while...

  • hmmm... cause or effect?

  • It now takes me twice as long to find anything!
  • The article said that total time spent on the sites increased but said nothing about per-user changes.
  • Yeah, Facebook is a great way to find out what your friend's top five favorite appliances are. Or even better, what their real name or aura color is! Can we get two times more of that please?
  • ...had to rush over to the TimeOn site to register. If it is doubling in size every year soon the whole world will be on it!!!

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle