Computer-based socializing likely to have peaked

It looks like social networking on desktops and laptops peaked in 2011 at 30% of Americans’ time online – another sign of how mobile socializing’s getting. Computer-based socializing decreased 3% last year for the first time, CNET reports, citing Experian market research. Social networking went down in the UK and Australia during the same period too – declining 3% in both countries. “If the time spent on the Internet on personal computers was distilled into an hour, then 27% of it – 16 minutes – would be spent on social networking,” the biggest category except for “Other.” Behind online socializing were entertainment (9 min.), shopping (5 min.), and then business and email tied (3 min.). Shopping and news consumption on computers both grew the same year.

Meanwhile Americans spent 15% of their time on mobile phones socializing. That’s all US consumers, but it trends with what Pew Internet found about the teenage demographic, only it’s more pronounced for teens: “The nature of teens’ Internet use has transformed dramatically,” Pew reported, so that now a quarter of US 12-to-17-year-olds are “cell-mostly” Internet users (compared to 15% of adults). It was probably no surprise to parents when Pew reported last year that texting is the dominant use of cellphones for teens. Here’s a great infographic (using Pew data) that illustrates the mobile life of teens.

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