Internet Usage Displacing Games, TV as Distraction for Young Adults

New data from Pew Research Center finds that young adults are using the Internet as a distraction – a distinction television use to have among that particular age group. A majority of young American adults are using the Internet for "fun" and to "kill time," according to a new report by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. But television isn't the only victim according to the data – video game console time is also being affected by Internet use, according to the data.

Of those surveyed between 18 and 29, around 53 percent said they go online "for no particular reason except to have fun or to pass the time." That figure drops to 37 percent for those between the ages of 30 to 49, 27 percent for those between the ages of 50 to 64, and 12 percent for those 65 and older.

Pew also found that around 58 percent of all adult age groups surveyed said they use the Internet as a diversion occasionally. The report noted the trend has come about at the same time that broadband connections have become more readily available to a wider range of consumers.

"The trend also suggests the degree to which the Internet has become a competitor to all kinds of other leisure activities that are pursued on other kinds of media,” the report states. "Still, the competition is fuzzy because most other kinds of leisure pursuits that can be digitized – from reading to game playing to ‘watching TV’ and ‘listening to radio’ – are now available online."

The report is based on surveys Pew conducted with 2,260 adults from July 25 – August 26, 2011. The report can be found in its entirety here.

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