Truespeed survey reveals the staggering amount of time we now spent on the internet

By Nick Batten on 1 November, 2021

Adults living in the South West will spend on average the equivalent of more than four years of their lives streaming TV shows and films online and just over three years on video calls for work, a study commissioned by Bath-based broadband provider Truespeed has found.

According to the national Lifetime of Internet survey – which was conducted by OnePoll – a typical adult will also spend two years of their lives online shopping and a further three years on social media.

Streaming music accounts for another three years – the equivalent of 52 minutes a day – while checking emails amounts to a total of two years and four months over the average adult lifetime.

As a result, the national poll of 2,000 adults found 73% consider the internet to be part of their daily life. And 49% couldn’t imagine going a whole day without it. The study found that adults in the South West region are logging onto the internet at least four times a day to check their emails and social media.

It also emerged that 45% are already online by 8am on an average day, while 20% don’t log off until after 11pm.

Although mobile phones (68%) are most regularly used to access the internet, 53% use laptops and 41% opt for their smart TVs.

More than six in 10 (66%) of South West respondents rely on the internet for banking while 52% use it to keep up with the latest news.

Over half (56%) rely on the internet for shopping, while one in four (25%) spend time internet daydreaming on dream holiday and luxury property websites.

55% believe they will only become more reliant on the internet over the next few years.

Despite the heavy reliance on the world wide web, only around a third of adults in the South West (33%) have very reliable broadband.

In addition, 42% of those polled via OnePoll experience problems with their connection at least once a week – wasting on average 12 minutes a day waiting for online applications or documents to load online.

The South West is only prepared to wait up to 20 seconds on average for something to load on the internet before losing patience.

Evan Wienburg, Chief Executive Officer of Truespeed, said, “It’s incredible to see how our internet time adds up when you consider all the different activities we use it for.

“The internet has become so ingrained in our day-to-day lives, that many of us don’t realise just how much we rely on it. It has become almost impossible to function without it.”

Evan added, “In this internet age, we can get most things in an instant without really having to think about it. To keep pace with people’s internet expectations, which are only going to continue to rise, we need to ensure our broadband is reliable and up to the job for our internet lifetime.”

Top 10 activities an average person spends doing in years on the internet in their lifetime: 

  • Watching TV shows/films – 4 years and 2 months
  • Live streaming sports – 3 years and 3 months
  • Playing video games – 3 years and 2 months
  • Online dating – 3 years and 1 month
  • Making work video calls – 3 years
  • Listening to podcasts and audiobooks – 2 years and 9 months
  • Downloading music – 2 years and 9 months
  • Online classes and tutorials – 2 years and 9 months
  • Using social media – 2 years and 9 months
  • Watching YouTube videos – 2 years and 5 months