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New study: The Internet is a bigger diversion now than ever

Last Updated: July 27, 2021

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

According to a recent survey from Pew Internet, people are far more likely now than ever to go online for no particular reason other than to pass the time or have fun. Some 58% of all adults (74% of all adults who use the Internet) say they use the Internet this way. This is almost double what it was 10 years ago.

All age groups have started using the Internet this way more. Since 2000…

  • 18-29-year-olds have gone from 47% to 81% using the Internet recreationally.
  • 30-49-year-olds have gone from 35% to 66% using the Internet recreationally.
  • 50-64-year-olds have gone from 18% to 50% using the Internet recreationally.
  • The 65+ age group has gone from 6% to 23% using the Internet recreationally.

Why the upsurge? Pew Internet mentions three contributing trends: (1) the rise of broadband connections, (2) the increasing use of online video, and (3) and the explosion of social networking. These have been major shifts in digital technology and culture over the last decade.

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