Study: Young people go online 'just because'

It's not exactly a shock to learn that a lot of young people go online just to pass the time away or to have fun. A new study from Pew Internet has apparently confirmed that assumption. In a survey of 2,260 adults, 81 percent of the people who were between the ages of 18 to 29 said that they have gone online on occasion just to have some fun or pass the time. Indeed, 53 percent of the people in that same age bracket said that at the time of the survey, they had gone online just to have fun the previous day.

The survey results show that the older a person gets, the less likely they are to just go online to pass the time away. 66 percent of people aged 30-49 admitted to spending time on the Internet at some point for no particular reason. 50 percent of people aged 50-64 said that they surfed the Internet in that way but only 23 percent of people aged 65 or above said they used the Internet for no specific reason.

Pew Internet claims that these results are higher than when they asked the same questions to a survey group in 2009 and much higher than the survey results taken in the middle of the last decade.

So what does all of this really mean?  The research group says this rise of "fun" Internet use has coincided with the rise of faster broadband connections, the increase of social networking and the use of more video on the Internet.

It added, "All of those factors are strongly associated with people who use the internet for fun: If they have broadband, if they are online video consumers, if they use social media of any kind – especially social networking sites – they are much more likely than others to go online to pass the time."

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25 Comments

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Well, duh! Check this out, most people turn on the television without a plan to watch a specific program. Or, a large percentage of the population (higher in the younger demographic) hold the refrigerator door open looking for something to eat; they entered the kitchen without the intent to eat something specific. Studies like this are a waste of time and money. Think they conducted this study, just because!

Most of those kids go online just for fun because today's kids are to dang dumb to know what else to use it for.

Heck, most of them can't spell decent enough to correctly search for anything.

In fact, most of today's kids are about as dumb as this survey was!!

100% correct, since the internet has become more "full time" (as oppose to dial up) I've put on a few kg of weight, maybe stone haha

And this is why internet providers are now beginning to impose bandwith caps for monthly usage.

There really isn't such a a thing as the "casual internet user".

Normally when analysing a study, you have to ask yourself "who funded it?" so you can see if there's a conflict of interest.
Here, you need to ask "who funded it?" to find out who the hell thought this was a worthwhile use of money.

Using the net has been my default evening pastime for.. well.. years. If I'm not out with friends, at the gym or watching a movie or something, then the computer goes on - simple as that. It's what I do!

lunarworks said,
Of course everyone knows teens in the '80s and '90s only turned on the TV for documentaries.

Sure, I watched documentaries, even just because they were the best thing on from 200 channels. And in the mid-90s, TLC actually had good shows and not sensationalistic garbage:)

Shea J said,
I need reasons to get off the internet actually.

that's more along my lines of thinking

as i spend a lot of my time on the computer on your average day.

You can use the internet in the same way that we used to use the TV. Just flick through to see what was on, without having a particular reason to.

I don't think this study was required, really.

jamesyfx said,
You can use the internet in the same way that we used to use the TV. Just flick through to see what was on, without having a particular reason to.

I don't think this study was required, really.

But without having done the study, how could you be sure it wasn't required?