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 mobile phone right now, or are you part of the 53 per cent 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 2260 adults over the age of 18, found that 58 per cent 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 per cent of folks aged 65 and older used the internet for frivolous fun times, while 27 per cent of those aged 50 to 64 admitted hopping on the web for mindless entertainment. And those 18 to 29 youngsters? 81 per cent 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]

Image: Olly/Shutterstock.


    I'm here on my phone because transact is a bloody terrible isp. fix my net you blaggards!

    No shit, it's either the net or video games when I'm bored. Who the hell watches TV anymore?
    BTW I'm suppose to be cleaning :3

    It's a form of media. It's to be expected. Reading articles, watching videos, etc. much like people would've done in the past with their spare time.

    Im on the toilet!

    Waiting for a download.

    I've been out all day. Worked through the morning then was social with a bunch of card players all afternoon.

    I don't always have good reason to surf the webs. But in this particular recurring case, I've just finished work, eaten a meal and I can't be arsed doing anything else.

      I dont always have a good reason to surf the web, but when i do, it's for the giggles.

    I'm just on break at work and bored.

    I'm getting new music for my week long interstate trip.

    So if I'm reading this article, and being edumacated, but don't necessarily need to be reading this article, does this count as fun or business? Wow, the internet really *is* srs business. I now have to declare if I am here for business or pleasure each time I disembark at Firefox airport.

    i go online and check Kotaku, Gameinformer, Diablofans, download a few torrents, check my favorite youtube sub's, and that usually takes an hour and a half, then its like 7 hours of league of legends WOO

    So in other words a bunch of people did a study to prove the obvious? I bet government funding was involved as well.

    To be honest, I'm more surprised that almost 20% of 18-29 year olds don't use the internet for something other than work.

    That is so meta, an article about using the internet to pass the time on a website that I visit to pass the time. Well played kotaku, I will go outside now

    You had me at Pew Research Centre xD

    I'm an Quantum based surfer *:P

    *and an quantum based idiot sometimes...

    Last edited 11/11/12 12:19 am

    Mike, are you suggestiong that reading Kotaku is, NOT A GOOD REASON TO BE ON THE NET?!!

    More than half of Americans like to have fun performing a similar activity to their peers. Oh the humanity!

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