Is the internet ruining your LIFE? Study finds surfing reduces sleep, stops us seeing friends and drops our work output by 25%
- For each hour spent online we spend 16 fewer minutes working
- Browsing sites including Facebook means we sleep less each night
- Hour of online activity makes us lose quarter of an hour in the real world
- Since 2006 we now spend 18 fewer days socialising with friends
07:13 EST, 22 October 2013
08:11 EST, 22 October 2013
This chart shows how much time internet users lose carrying out different offline activities in favour of spending time online
including Facebook and Twitter are a procrastinator's dream, but new
research has revealed the true extent of how these sites directly affect
conducted by the Technology Policy Institute in Washington has found
that every hour spent online equates to, on average, 16 fewer minutes
also affect our sleep - we lose seven minutes sleeping for each hour
online; spend 17 minutes less outside in the real world and miss out on a
staggering 18 days seeing friends.
For his paper, What we are not doing when we're online,
economist and researcher from the institute, Scott Wallsten studied
eight years of government data about Americans online from 2003 to 2011.
The act of replacing real-world time with online time is referred to by Wallsten as 'crowding out.'
minute of time spent online, according to Wallsten, directly correlates
with 0.27 fewer minutes working, which over an hour equates to 16.2
course of a day, this adds up to 388.8 minutes, or around six and a half
hours, which over a year means employers lose around 8 days a month.
Wallsten said: 'This research is a small step forward in understanding the economic effects of the Internet.
'The data clearly show that time spent and the share of the population engaged in online leisure is
'The analyses suggest that new online activities come at least partly at the expense of
less time doing other activities.'
Over the course of five years, from 2006 to
2011, the amount of time people spend socialising with friends has
dropped. For every minute people spend online, research claims they lose
0.05 minutes socialising, which works out at around 18 days each year
People watch 0.28 fewer minutes
watching television, to each minute of online activity. This is 16.8
minutes an hour, or almost 7 hours a day, on average.
spend 0.12 fewer minutes sleeping and 0.05 fewer minutes socialising
with friends. Over the course of a year, this means we lose 18 days
seeing loved ones.
The trend also has an adverse affect on the eduction of young people, in particular, according to Wallsten's research.
The younger an internet user, the more time they spend online compared to studying and 'education-related tasks'.
aged between 15 and 19 crowd out almost 0.3 minutes worth of studying
in place of going online and using social networks. This is almost seven
hours a day, on average.
concluded that the loss of real-world time could have an affect on the
economy but further research needs to be done into how damaging this
According to research from Washington's
Technology Policy Institute, browsing social networks including Facebook
and Twitter is now the most common activity online, at 22.5 per cent.
Online games are second. Videos and movies make up just 4.4 per cent