We're All Here For The Same Reason: To Kill Time

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Do you go online for business? To do research? To buy stuff? To influence others? According to a recent news item in eMarketer, we all go online to do one thing: pass time.

As we all sit and pontificate on the power of new media and how the Internet is such a distinct and different media, it turns out that all of us (that would be 100% of the people questioned in a Ruder Finn survey in Q2 2009) went online to pass the time. Every single one of them. Imagine that. One hundred percent of the people asked in that survey treat the Internet the same way they treat TV: as a way to kill time. The news item, Why People Go Online, published yesterday in eMarketer goes on to state:

"Men were more likely than women to go online for business, entertainment and to keep informed on news and current events. Women, in turn, were more likely to use the Internet to advocate for a cause or issue, express themselves and socialize. More than two-thirds (69%) of young adults ages 18 to 29 posted comments on social networking sites, 55% played games and 50% went online ‘specifically to rage against a person or organization.’ Seniors were nearly twice as likely as young people to manage their finances, and 65% of seniors went online to be part of a community."

So, while all of us use the Internet to kill time, it does (thankfully) go a lot deeper than that.

All of the online activities were divided into six categories and are listed below in overall popularity:

  • Learn
  • Have fun
  • Socialize
  • Express oneself
  • Advocate
  • Do business
  • Shop

The Internet is still a new media with new platforms and activities being introduced daily. It will be interesting to see how this list morphs and changes in the next 5-10 years.