It was once said that, aside from sleeping, we spend most of our lives at work. Yet working has now taken a back seat to a new preoccupation: being online.
Roy Morgan Research found that Australians aged 14 years and over spent a staggering 21.9 billion hours online in one way or another.
That compares to 20.5 billion spent at work. Of course, some of that online time is spent at work, but the cumulative total of work time and leisure/personal time spent connected to the internet has now surpassed total working hours.
Of the 8,760 hours we have in a year, 1,144 hours (or 13 per cent) is spent online on average.
More than a quarter (26.9 per cent) of that is spent using social media – demonstrating the importance of businesses to actively embrace and engage with customers directly through social channels.
“Despite the problems Australians have with trusting social media – our recent Roy Morgan Net Trust survey revealed social media companies are distrusted by 47 per cent of Australians – Australians as a whole now spend nearly 6 billion hours on social media in an average year over a quarter of all time spent on the internet,” said Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan.
Total internet usage has, unsurprisingly, continued to climb, with Australians collectively spending 2.1 billion more hours online in the year to March 2018 than we did in the year to September 2016.
Yet more traditional forms of media still occupy substantial amounts of our time, and as such can still present value from a marketing perspective. Despite small declines in consumption, around 92 per cent of Australians watch TV, spending an average of 1,004 hours each year doing so – some of which is done online.
The average Aussie also spends 851 hours each year listening to the radio – with 85 per cent of us admitting we listen to the radio during the week.
“When one considers an estimated third of our day (eight hours) is spent sleeping, around three-quarters of our time is spent either working, consuming media or fast asleep.”
The research sampled just over 50,000 Australians to determine average habits.