Americans Spend More Time With Social Media Than They Do With E-Mail

Americans spend more time with social media than any other online activity, according to a recent study.

Gfk and IAB analysed the online habits of 5,000 U.S. adults aged 13 to 64 throughout 2012.

Americans spent an average of 37 minutes each day with social media last year, followed by 33 minutes with e-mail and 24 minutes with online video.

This signals an important tipping point in social media’s rise as a pastime and a communications vehicle: Social media is even rivaling email, which many Internet users consider indispensable for everyday communication and their professional lives.

Search was fourth among top activities, at around 20 minutes.

Online newspapers, radio and magazines ranked low relative to the other top activities.

It seems that digital-native means of communications like e-mail, social media, and blogs are simply more popular with Internet audiences than those mediums that started offline and migrated to the Internet, like newspapers, magazines, and radio.

TV might be an exception here since a great deal of popular “premium” online video originates as made-for-TV programming.

One thing is for certain: The Internet is now firmly established as the second-most important medium in the lives of Americans. The average person in the U.S. spent three hours and six minutes daily with the Internet in 2012, according to GfK and IAB.

However, TV remains the most-consumed media with more than five hours of everyday average use.

Download the chart and data in Excel.

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