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We swear that’s not an Onion headline. According to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, 53% of young adults aged 18-29 go online “for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time” on a typical day. (Note that the survey question specifically asked if users had done so “yesterday”.)

It’s not just the Millenials that are whiling the hours online, though; 34% of all adults use the Internet to do nothing in particular, too.

Additionally, 81% of young adults and 58% of all adults use the Internet this way “occasionally”. True, the survey also found that there’s plenty of purposeful Internet use among that age group, but the above facts remain.

Although those numbers may be cringe-inducing at first glance, it really just makes sense. There’s a lot to do via the Internet that was impossible just a few years ago and not available to many users until fairly recently. The Pew survey noted that the rise in this type of online activity is largely attributable to the availability of broadband, and it follows, broadband-enabled activities such as online video-watching. There’s also this new craze called social networking that we hear young people are into.

A key aspect of the definition of what “fun” is is important to this survey; respondents had no parameters on the definition of “fun”, so they could define the term however they wished. If anything, then, these numbers beg the question: Have 42% of online adults (and 19% of online young adults) not discovered Netflix? Or Facebook? Or Steam? Or fantasy football? Or Pandora? Or the Cheezburger network?

Perhaps the headline should instead be “Many Adults Still Just Don’t Get the Internet”.

Um, the internet is supposed to be fun, right? And hey if I'm online, I'm not out robbing a store or anything like that. So it's all good :-]


LOL..I'm in that age range, and I got on the net to check my e-mail. And 1 hour later still on just looking at random stuff and checking hardware pages. I pretty much spend at least 1 hour a day on the internet for no particular reason. It's better than TV.


I don't know about you all but I don't think visiting Hot Hardware for my daily fix of tech news and reviews is a waste of time.

They clearly are not speaking to me on this matter.

  •  Manduh
  • 77% (Friendly)
  • Advanced Member

I usually have a purpose when I first go online, but always find myself sidetracked for a couple hours before I go offline again.

  •  AKwyn
  • 71.2% (Friendly)
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Well I'm one of the people who use the internet mainly for fun (also some discussion.). Granted, the internet does have some useful purposes but I always seem to get sidetracked by the having fun part...


Wait why was I on here again. Oh yeah I am not a young adult so it does not matter. Booyaa!


Not surprising... Most young adults just get online and start browsing youtube or facebook for random stuff.


Erm i go online just for HH 😛 lol. But meh i do have things to take care of daily so i say there is a reason for me. But most of the day i say i'm just bored... :P


Very rarely do I ever get on the internet, or even on my computer whatsoever, without purpose.  I do my absolute best to use my time wisely.  Sometimes, such as when I'm getting sick, it doesn't work that way, and I do so out of boredom.  That doesn't happen often either, but it does happen.  Of well over 95% of my time spent online, I'm on here with a specific purpose.

Der Meister

I would say about 99% of people go on the net for no real reason other then its something to do/pass the time. Sure people might go to check their email but how many just check their email then get off? 


so having fun = having no reason for going online? oook...


I'm one for going online for a purpose! Always have been & always will be![H]


In the age of data analytics of actual usage activity, how is this even a valid method?