Social Networking, Blogging Overtake E-mail as Chief Time Wasters

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As much time as people spend shoveling away at piles of personal letters, spam and chainletters in their e-mail inboxes, social networks and blogging have officially surpassed the classic online medium in terms of sheer time spent online. According to Nielsen Online (PDF), these networks are now the fourth most popular activity on computers, ahead of e-mail.

Search, portals and PC software occupy those first three places, but that may not be the case for long, if social networks continue to grow at their current rate, which is twice as fast as any of the others. As it currently stands, two thirds of the online population currently access member community sites like Facebook and MySpace.

On the whole, one in every 11 minutes spent online by people all over the world is devoted to social networking and blogging. Internationally, Brazil remains the country most obsessed with the trend, where nearly one out of every four minutes is spent on it, the majority through Orkut.com.