According to a recently released study conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, young adults between the ages of 18 to 29 are the most likely to go online just to “have fun or pass the time”. While 81 percent claim to have gone online to have fun on occasion, over half of these young adults claimed to have hopped online for that reason within 24 hours prior to the survey. According to further findings, people are less likely to access the Internet for fun as age increases. For instance, less than a fourth of people ages 65 and older use the Internet for entertainment purposes.
Across all ages, approximately 58 percent of respondents claim to use the Internet for ” fun or pass the time” occasionally and 34 percent claim to have gotten online for that purpose during the previous day to the survey. The survey was conducted with 2,260 adults ages 18 and over between July 2011 and August 2011. Compared to the same questions in previous years, the amount of people going online for entertainment purposes is higher than 2009 numbers and significantly higher than figures recorded approximately six years ago. The wording of the questions didn’t define any specific activity when on the Internet, only that the activity would have to be considered “fun”.
While it’s clear that the Internet has become a stronger competitor for the attention of Americans over the past decade, Pew Research believes that the line between Internet usage and getting online to consume traditional forms of media has become “fuzzy”. For instance, anyone with a computer or tablet can access online television programs through services like Hulu Plus and Netflix, music through services like Pandora and books through services like Amazon. However, social networking is a large contributor to the growth in online use over the past five years.