One in five Americans reports going online "almost constantly" according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.
It's the first time Pew included “almost constantly” as a response option when querying adults about frequency of Internet use, a huge hint that our online habits are getting even more serious these days (thanks, smartphones!).
The majority of Americans -- 73 percent -- report going online on a daily basis. While 42 percent go online several times a day, and about 10 percent do so approximately once a day. Believe it or not, 13 percent of people surveyed said they do not use the Internet.
Unsurprisingly, young people are using the most data: 36 percent of 18 to 29 year olds report spending all their time connected. By comparison, just 6 percent of people 65 and older report going online all the time.
Constant connection through smartphone use is relatively new, so researchers don't know what kind of effect this might be having. But we do know that too much screen time can lead to conditions like eye strain and text neck, and that excessive social media use is often associated with anxiety.
On the other hand, our connectedness is also responsible for all sorts of wonderful things -- from bringing long lost sisters back together to spotlighting important causes that that need support. Also: Feel-good stuff like this.
But we do have a message for the 21 percent of constant users: Maybe it's time to switch off.
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