Facebook’s latest quarterly fiscal announcement was full of surprises, namely, the company’s earnings far exceeding expectations and rising to $2.91 billion in revenue. In addition, the social media platform now claims to have 1.32 billion monthly active users around the world.
In America, Facebook has a whopping 128 million users on a daily basis. The company found that the average American user spends 40 minutes per day navigating around the site, which may not seem like very much at first until you compare it with results of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey. This data shows that the number is higher than the average amount of time spent checking mail (17 minutes per day) and email (33 minutes per day). In fact, the average American only spends 39 minutes on their pets, just barely losing out to Facebook.
Those 128 million daily users make up 40 percent of the American population. For comparison’s sake, only 35 percent of people travel to work and 34 percent of people do housework each day. This is a stunning example of how Facebook has become more common than activities we would usually consider to be “daily.” Additionally, 39 percent of people purchase consumer goods on a daily basis and only 14 percent participate in organizational, civic, or religious activities. Many of those numbers, especially the last category, were assuredly much higher before the advent of social media.
This data is a startling, but clear, demonstration of how much time Facebook and other platforms have gradually eaten away from Americans’ daily lives. However, there has been a gradual consolidation, elimination and/or speeding up of many tasks that once were necessary but can now be replaced by technology or our increasingly service-based economy. So although it may not be all bad, and just a substitution of leisurely social media activity for obsolete chores or duties, it is a good idea to keep these trends in mind and in check before they get out of hand.
Edited by Maurice Nagle