Why the Hell Are You Online Right Now?

Is there any reason you're sitting in front of a computer or plinking away at your cell phone right now, or are you part of the 53 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds that go online just to pass the time on any given day? A new study has determined that a large number of us are here for no good reason.

Not alive, of course, though I have my suspicions. I'm talking about being online, surfing the web, trolling the forums, reading blog articles. A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that a large number of adults are on the internet for no real reason other than having fun.

The phone survey, which polled a sample of 2,260 adults over the age of 18, found that 58 percent of all adults used the internet as a diversion instead of some sort of tool. Removing the folks that don't regularly use the internet from the equation and the percentage jumps to 74, nearly three-quarters of internet savvy adults.

Breaking it down by age group, only 12 percent of folks aged 65 and older used the internet for frivolous fun times, while 27 percent of those aged 50 to 64 admitted hopping on the web for mindless entertainment. And those 18 to 29 youngsters? 81 percent admitted to using the internet for diversion on at least a few occasions.

While the survey doesn't specifically define fun — it could be looking at kitten videos, streaming music, or surfing porn — what it does scientifically prove is that the internet as an entertaining place to be, so that's probably why you're here.

Why you exist is another question entirely; I'd like to think the sole reason was for you to read this sentence. Thanks for being!

The internet as a diversion and destination [Pew Research Center]

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