Social Media Ranks Highest for Time Spent Online

Posted by Marina Shawd

As a college student, I did not find it surprising to learn the most frequented online sites are social media outlets.

Today, businesses, schools, and moms stay up-to-date using Facebook, Twitter, and similar platforms. According Editors Weblog, our social media use outnumbers the amount of time spent in email platforms. The change comes from users changing the way news is shared. Instead of chain emails or mass forwards, we simply Tweet the latest article or post it to our Facebook page.

A Nielsen study reported 140 million internet users visited Facebook in May. Collectively, they were on the site for 53 billion minutes. And those statistics cover one month alone. The number of Facebook visits and YouTube views are constantly increasing. If the current rate continues, Facebook could beat out popular search engines.I am required to be engaged in social media for three of my courses this semester. My homework includes blogging, tweeting and (in an extreme case) creating a social media strategy and implementing it over the course of the semester. Personally, I am more engaged in social media now than I was a year ago. It is my source of local and international news, as well as an educational platform.

What is the primary use for your time spent on social media? Why is it worthwhile for you to be connected in multiple ways?

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8 responses to “Social Media Ranks Highest for Time Spent Online

  1. Most of my use of social media is for news, whether it be to keep in touch with what friends are doing back home or national/international news. I no longer need or find it practical to visit actual news sites as I can simply use my Twitter feed as one giant newspaper. I do not play games or use apps on the social media sites, but simply use them as tools. With today’s media coverage, if you are not connected in multiple ways you miss breaking news and can fall way behind everyone else.

  2. I agree with Alec. I spend a lot of my time on social media (specifically Twitter) looking for new articles about subjects that interest me or are interesting. I do have a FourSquare account that very rarely gets used and a various amount of other accounts. I’d have to say that Twitter and Facebook take up most of the time when it comes to social media. In today’s society we have to be constantly aware of the changing world around us, and social media helps with that.

    • We are certainly spoilied to have the news tailored to our interests. But, there are times when I miss out on an important story because it isn’t “categorized” under my top interests.

  3. it’s crazy to think that these social media sites started out as a fun thing for me to do, and now I am using them for assignments in class. I’ve spent more time this year on social media sites than I ever have before. It’s even weird to see my parents and grandparents using these tools to keep in touch with their friends and family members. These sites really are changing the way people communicate with eachother.

  4. I agree with Hilary…I never thought that Twitter would be pertinent to my education or future as a working adult. I’m developing a social media strategy for my internship; I’m using Twitter to receive news updates and Facebook to plan events.

    I do spend the majority of my time on the internet using social media, including blogging/reading other blogs. This can be really distracting for me, and I have to work hard to keep it form interfering with my enormous to-do list.

  5. As much as I have to use social media for my classes and to read about local and international news, I maintain my stand that the best news comes from a newspaper. I feel that sometimes it can be dangerous to use ONLY social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that have been tailored to your personal interests. You could be missing out on some huge news events because you aren’t “following” that particular news site. It’s really a catch 22 for me. Because of social media, I’m receiving more news than ever and really taking in my surroundings, but I feel like it’s not a well-rounded amount of news.

  6. It depends on which site I’m using. I tend to get more of my hard news on Twitter. I use Facebook to communicate with friends and for self-promotion. I think it’s important to be “plugged in” because that’s where the news is going. I agree with Kylie that I prefer to get my news from traditional sources, but it’s just easier to get the news in one or two places–especially when we’re spending so much time on them, anyway.

  7. Emily - Drake University

    I held out on creating a Twitter account for a long time. Even when I made one, it was a while before I began using it. Now it’s my homepage. I log on to Twitter automatically as soon as I open my laptop. I even use it for class, which I think is great because it means our professors recognize how useful it is. I’m definitely guilty of using social media for my personal interests, like Kylie said, but I am consciously trying to branch out. I rarely read the newspaper, but I’ll click on a link that a news source tweets.

    I don’t use Facebook as much as I used to, but I’m not sure why. I’ll log on once and a while to post photos or catch up with old friends, but I’m not one to waste away hours “Facebook creeping.” Perhaps it’s an issue of time. I spend a lot more time reading blogs and will visit blogs before Facebook any day. I have a Four Square account, but haven’t found a use for it yet. I do like that there are always new things happening in the world of social media. I think our generation is always looking for some new thing to catch our interests, and social media sites have done an excellent job with this.

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