Internet usage studies over the last few years have shown that not only are Americans spending more time online than ever before, but the rate of increase is growing much faster than anticipated. According to recent studies, in 2008 Americans spent 30% of their leisure time online- making the United States fifth in the world in terms of leisure Internet usage behind China, South Korea, Japan and Italy respectively. The biggest growth happened from 2006-2007. In 2005 an average American spent 7.8 hours per week online. By 2006 that number had increased as expected to about 8.9 hours per week. But by 2007 the average American was spending a whopping 15.3 hours per week online, and the numbers have just continued to grow from there. So what changes in 2007 prompted this huge increase and continued to fuel growth in 2008 and now 2009? Simply put, there is more to do online these days!
Many people have turned to the internet for day to day services because of the following advantages:
- Don’t Have To Show Up In Person
Online services like bill pay, car registrations, loan applications, etc. have reduced the number of services that you actually have to go and do in person- eliminating annoyances like commuting, waiting in line, and filling out paperwork.
- Paying bills
- Running errands
- Taking classes
- Can combine Information from Many Sources in One Place
Whether you are looking for information on news, politics, industry views, restaurants, vacation hot spots, or the season’s hottest products there are a multitude of websites at your fingertips that will collect relevant information for you. Web readers have done an excellent job of this data accumulation- letting users collect a stream of information on various topics and sites that interest them in one place.
- Shopping online
- Reading the news
- Doing travel research/booking travel
- Finding recipes/getting cooking information
- Reading blogs
- Finding service providers/restaurants
- Connect with Similar People Easily
The anonymity of the internet as well as its wide reach across the world has made it easy for all users to find people and communities with similar interests, regardless of personalities or location.
- Using dating sites
- Searching for a job
- Forums/message boards
- Get Exposure to New Technologies Instantly
New technologies can spread and evolve across the internet rapidly and therefore are perfectly suited for online development and use. Widespread access online makes it possible for smaller companies and even individuals to create and improve on technologies in ways that can shape the entire online technology landscape.
- Watching videos
- Listening to music
- Watching TV episodes/clips
- Expand Personal Influence
The internet has given wings to the “Rise of the Individual” phenomenon, whereby individuals can have their voices and opinions heard instantly by a huge audience.
- Maintaining a personal website
- Participating in social media
We were interested in seeing how Volusion employees’ online activities stacked up against the national averages. In total 45 Volusion employees were surveyed. Below are our findings:
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist