People Spend As Much Time On Mobile As Reading Newspapers And Magazines

The average time spent on the Internet by adults in the U.S. grew an estimated 6 percent in 2010 to 155 minutes a day, or about two and a half hours, according to new estimates from eMarketer. Compared to watching TV, which the average American adult does for 264 minutes a day (or four and a half hours), it still has a way to go in terms of becoming the media we spend our most time on. However, TV time declined about 1 percent.

More startling is that time spent on mobile devices is now the same as time spent reading print newspapers and magazines combined. The average American spends an estimated 50 minutes a day staring at his cell phone, versus 30 minutes reading a print newspaper and 20 minutes reading a magazine. Of course, much of that time staring at mobile screens is reading news online so maybe when all is said and done people are actually reading more. Although what they are reading—Tweets, email, and text messages, along with articles— is not always the same as in the offline world.

Time spent on mobile devices shot up 28 percent in 2010, and that number will continue to rise. If you are reading this, you probably think these numbers are low. How much time a day do you spend looking at your mobile phone? I spend at least two hours a day, twice as much if I am commuting. And now I’m spending at least 30 minutes day on my iPad. I wonder which will happen first, time spent on the Internet passing time watching TV or mobile passing the (desktop) Internet.