Time spent on social networks and the like – I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours

society, technology

After having fallen hugely behind on browsing my Facebook newsfeed, Friendfeed, etc., I decided to see just how much time I had been spending during those “on top of it” days… and, by extension, how much time it’d take me to keep up each day.

Around 10pm last night, I “cleared out” my Reader, and picked a stopping point in Facebook and Friendfeed, so I could start fresh tonight (Monday) and see just how much would accumulate in 24 hours… and how long it’d take me to get through it.

So here are my numbers:

  • Facebook:  Browsing (and commenting a bit) on a filtered newsfeed of one group of 270 friends:  20 minutes
  • Friendfeed:  Browsing (and commenting/liking a bit) on a selected group comprised of about 80 friends:  8 minutes
  • Twitter:  Browsed through unfiltered/ungrouped list via Brizzly (happy to offer invites to the first ten people who contact me):  12 minutes.
  • Reader:  Browsing through my ??? feeds (and checking out a few original pages + adding a couple comments):  28 minutes (”???” because Reader never was able to load up anything when I clicked on “Manage my subscriptions.”  Bummer!  But I’m guessing I have over 200 feeds, of which probably 100 are updated at least weekly)

Just a bit over an hour.  Not that bad, right?  Except when you realize a few very important things:

  • This is more than an hour every single day, including weekends, holidays, vacation times, etc.
  • Worse yet (and more importantly), this does not include my personal e-mail, which I estimate would take me about an hour daily in and of itself to read and appropriately reply to messages.
  • Nor does this include Wave.  Or Techmeme.  Or online News.  Or really anything else in the vast online world.
  • It certainly doesn’t include the time I should be spending composing thoughtful e-mails to my Grandpa, to my friends near and far, and so on.  500 or so contacts in my addressbook… people that I care about.  If I e-mailed each one just once a month, that’s more than one substantive e-mail every day (in addition to the other replies).
  • And it certainly doesn’t include corporate (work) mail and related stuff, but that’s well beyond the scope of this inquiry, in which I’m trying to pin down this

How much of my free time do I spend (or would I have to spend each day) on “keeping up” with friends and news online?


*  *  *

Well, now you know, or at least have an idea about my time allocations. 
Where does your time go?
– How much time do you spend each day on Facebook, Twitter, etc.?  (Not sure?  Try what I did, and actually time it!)
– Is that more than you thought?  Less than you thought?  Does it make sense for you?

Curious to hear your numbers and your feelings on this…

[Edited at 1:18am October 13 to add: Twitter stats]

30 comments… add one
  • Adam Oct 12, 2009

    Wow, am I reading the chart correctly?  You spend 6-10 hours a day on social media stuff?  Way more dedicated than I am! (or I’m just very bad at reading charts at the moment)

  • id Oct 14, 2009

    Nowadays, i am focusing on updating my outdated XP tutorials, creating courseware for my students for Server 2008 content and having less time for social networks.

  • Peter Oct 15, 2009
  • Laura Oct 15, 2009

    About an hour a day I’d say. Generally a bit more at the beginning of the week (seeing what everyone’s been up to at the weekend), less so in the middle of the week and more again at the end of the week (seeing what everyone is going to do at the weekend!).

  • Pieter Oct 19, 2009

    I stopped using Facebook and Hyves.net , because it was taking too much time, especially if you look at what it returns: more messages which is more work.

  • William Hickocks Oct 20, 2009

    All of those pages are just a kind of a trap that eats Your time. I know that we all like those social networking sites and there is nothing wrong about that – everyone spends his time in the way that he finds the most interesting or relaxing. But there is so much things that we could do in this time – go for a walk, meet some real people etc. I find sites like Facebook not only waste of time, because there are many interesting people to meet, but sometimes I think that I spend too much time trying to achieve something that doesn’t even exist.

  • Lukas Oct 21, 2009

    For me Facebook ate up time and generated new social problems for me to deal with, which was no good. So after a while I ended up ditching it and reverting to good old trusty email and telephony for my communications – occasionally actually meeting people to mix it up a bit.

  • Marie Oct 26, 2009

    I don’t use Facebook anymore, to much time for nothing.

  • Jeffrey Nov 2, 2009

    I know so many people that continue to waste away their lives in front of Facebook.  Social networking can be great, but like anything else in life must be in moderation.

  • 12 MP Nov 3, 2009

    Well it’s good I came across this post as it allows me to shed some light on my own “social activities on the internet”.
    http://www.Hyves.nl (35 minutes each day)
    http://www.Facebook.com (30 minutes each day)

    Besides that I spend too much time on all things related to mobile phones among else my personal site: http://www.sonyericssonsatio.nl

  • AnnieE Nov 6, 2009

    My downfall started with Orkut in college! I spent 1-2 hours of homework time everyday on Orkut and Friendster.  Had to delete both!  I guess that was my solution.  Now I try to spend no more than 15 mins/day on Facebook.  I do love reading my friends’ status updates so sometimes I’ll do that on my iphone in the middle of the day.  But I don’t think that should count. :o)

  • Jane Nov 14, 2009

    I couldnt imagine spending 6 hours a day on social media. 6 minutes is more than enough for me!

  • Jane Nov 14, 2009

    Oh and dont get me started on bloody farmville!!

  • fallen earth chips Nov 17, 2009

    I couldnt imagine spending 6 hours a day on social media. 6 minutes is more than enough for me!
    f

  • dayblog Nov 22, 2009

    In and out blogging 4 hours a day BUT remember this is my work – so if we should exclude our role and work time spent from all other online social activities?

    Bottom line: Go live a normal social life like anyone in the south planet earth – no need to any Internet to keep people connected but since we live in upper north countries where snow- NO SUN – COLD etc… it affects all our social values – or?

  • Roger Nov 23, 2009

    It’s depressing to think that I actually stress out about trying to keep up with goofy facebook and twitter updates.

  • rebelmoneymaker Nov 23, 2009

    I allocate my time pretty much randomly.

  • Jiron Nov 23, 2009

    Facebook – 30 mins per day (that includes checking emails and playing with some of the applications).
    Tagged – 15 mins.

    I try to limit my time since I am self employed.  Gotta be disciplined!

  • Jillian Nov 23, 2009

    Hi Adam,

    I’ve been following your blog for at least a year – probably longer and had registered but now I’m gone. What happened to my “account” and my comments? I get emails saying that someone has commented but it looks like the first 5-6 comments that used to be here are gone. That’s odd – hope you didn’t get hacked.

    I had answered that I don’t use FaceBook much. But I stopped back by to admit that I have been checking it more often and having a lot of fun reconnecting with old friends and making lots of new ones. It’s very entertaining and I imagine I spent an hour each day total on FaceBook now. I don’t see any harm in spending an hour chatting and communicating with real people as opposed to sitting on the couch and watching the junk on TV.

    I still don’t see a use for Twitter or those other services you mention, but I’m an older demographic than you and your friends.

    Jillian

  • Ed Gray Nov 25, 2009

    Crikey, social networking sites are pretty addictive, I think I probably spend at least 2 hours a day keeping up to date with friends all over the world and my family… but I daren’t make a note of the time spent, I’ll probably feel too guilty!!

    Ed

  • Eric F. Box Nov 25, 2009

    Social media is the easiest way to promote your website. It is upto you how much you devote the time for promotion and how much you play games.

  • Linda Stetson Nov 26, 2009

    facebook all the time….

  • Neil Nov 29, 2009

    I was beginning to feel guilty for…you know…wanting to have a life outside of facebook! I seem to be all or nothing, I’ll log on after a few weeks and waste hours on it, then I’ll refuse to go back because it is such a time suck. Now its been a couple months or so since I’ve even logged in.

  • Fred Doleac Dec 12, 2009

    I invest 2 hours a day to posting blogs, commenting and researching various articles, blogs and web sites.  I utilize Active Rain, HubPages, Twitter, RealTown, Ezine and GoArticles.  I receive (learn) far more than I get (traffic and SEO) for our site Virtual Homes Real Estate.  It is amazing how much information you can get in two hours.  Well worth it.

  • kurumsal Dec 31, 2009

    If you know how to use them, you will generate more advantages of those Social Network platforms.

  • Bill Gassett Jan 3, 2010

    From personal experience I can say that the time invested in social media does have a good return if you know what you are doing. Having a well coordinated effort between my Real Estate website that covers Franklin MA Real Estate and my blog I have been able to get a steady stream of business. Knowing how to make these sites more visible via Facebook, Twitter and other popular web 2.0 sites is important.

  • chicago furniture Jan 9, 2010

    I think blogs are taking over my life, I’m not updating 8 of them per day because it’s all different types of furniture.  I figure that people would rather see their trade show furniture on a trade show furniture blog.  Then I’m out in my warehouse taking pictures, sorting them, tagging them, ect.  So I think I’m up to around 5 hours per day in maintenance.  I do love it though or I wouldn’t do it, so maybe I’ve found my passion.

  • Cheers, cool post.

    My social media efforts are as follows.

    Facebook (3 accounts, 3 fan pages: 1-2 hours
    Twitter (4 accounts): 30 mins
    Blog Posts (4 accounts): 30 mins
    Linkdin: 15 mins

    I also have around 20 other smaller social networking accounts which auto update with 0 effort from me….thanks

  • izoelkantor May 25, 2010

    hi Bladam
    – To access my internet marketing 30 minutes
    – for network advertising sites such as http://www.facebook.com spent two hours
    – while for http://www.twitter.com most only 30 minutes, and one hour for browsing the information and photos..thank for sharing.

  • Laura Etipio May 25, 2010

    Internet can take so much time. For my website Scrabble Cheat, I prefer not to know how much time I spend on it…

What do you think?