Digital Media Usage Doubles in a Decade

Last night, I juggled a bag of groceries on my knee while I rifling through my handbag to answer my cell phone. Yes, 2016 is off to a hectic start.

Our devices make us efficient. And I love every handy APP on my phone. But why is it that I still have fewer spare moments to attend to life’s necessities?

It’s because digital devours our days.

Check it out: According to a new report from the Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2015-19 report, digital media use in the US increased by 7.1% in 2015 to 18.0 hours weekly, up by 7.1 percent.

Wait, there’s more. Digital now accounts for 27 percent of overall US media consumption. At that rate, the average weekly time spent consuming digital media will soon amount to the equivalent of a whole day. The report projects that digital media use would stand at an average of 23.9 hours, more than double the average time spent with digital media in 2009.

Perhaps our behavior is not purely task driven. Consider that fastest-growing digital media channel was mobile audio. Consumer usage surged 33.5% in 2015, fuelled by the growing use of music subscription services such as Spotify.

Mobile video usage also jumped by 26.9%, as telecommunications providers like Verizon began offering promotional plans on to offset declining data plan prices among its competitors.

Television currently remains the leading combined traditional and digital media silo of choice in the US, the report said, with the average consumer viewing 32.4 hours per week, or 50.2%, of all media consumption.

But by 2017, total TV usage will fall below 50%, as younger demographics watch less television and the increased availability of other media content, such as user-generated content, eats into the medium’s share of time.

For those of us who have set lifestyle goals to slow down, this is not great news. If we hope to eat more mindfully, be more present, and get to the gym, we’ll have to carve out time from somewhere.

So, perhaps the thing that belongs on the list of resolutions isn’t sit-ups or downward dogs. Maybe it’s an exercise called “set-downs” where we simply set down our devices and take a breather.

I’ll take 20 reps a day, please.