How Typical Is My Digital Day?
I was looking at some statistics for the top 20 websites (in terms of hits) in the UK and it occurred to me that I’d visited pretty much every one of them in the last month.
That got to me wondering just how typical my average day online was and how representative of my age group my browsing habits have become, soI produced the following infographic design to demonstrate my typical digital day:
A couple of quick notes on the infographic; it’s charting an average non-work day and generally runs chronologically, from top to bottom.
The first thing that’s fairly clear is that my top websites (in terms of visits and time spent on them) are:
4. BBC Website / BBC iPlayer
Interestingly there’s very little activity in terms of social media websites, which isn’t particularly typical for someone in my age group (26-30), although my (personal) use of social media websites has decreased dramatically since my early 20′s.
My first question was how does my internet use relate to the general internet use of someone in the UK?
As you can see the sites I visit are reasonably representative of most people in the country; my top six websites contain four of the UK top six, with two of them (Google and eBay) ranking in exactly the same place.
Had i done this exercise a couple of years ago, my top results would have probably matched the top six UK sites perfectly, as both Betfair and WordPress have been reasonably recent additions to my browsing (pretty much replacing Windows Live Mail and Facebook, both of which i used to use regularly).
Other computer / online use
I can immediately see from the graphic that i use Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Dreamweaver a huge amount, genenerally spending more time on either one than all of the websites outside my top six, and even more than a couple in the top six.
I also spend a huge amount of time in the evenings on Xbox Live, via my Xbox 360 – this time can be spent gaming, utilising Sky Player on the Xbox or downloading demos, reviews or movie previews.
The infographic also tries to demonstrate how one site leads me to another; a good example is the site Goofbay, which i only EVER access if i’m on eBay beforehand. Or how Google will often lead me to Analytics or Adwords, depending on the project i’m undertaking.
I also didn’t realise how important the first thing i did online was – every day (spent at home, not at work) i’ll check my emails first. My emails can basically dictate the first few hours of my use of digital products; if i have an email from somone asking for a site update or something changing, then i’ll end up using Google, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and potential sites that lead on from these (creative commons, analytics, etc). If i don’t have any emails then it’s far more likely i’ll spend a good chunk of time on eBay, Twitter and/or Facebook. Basically my social media use is dictated almost entirely by my emails.
Conversely, it seems as though my evening is pretty much standard each time, regardless of how i’ve spent the day. Once it gets to around 6.00pm i always end up on WordPress, either adding to one of my sites or blogging. From there the pattern is the same every evening – a look on YouTube (checking my own videos usually), a quick check on Isohunt, then it’s the BBC Website. The BBC site ALWAYS takes me to one of two places; either i end up watching BBC iPlayer and that’s it for the evening, or the football scores remind me i like gambling on Betfair and i end up there, closely followed by FIFA 10 on my Xbox 360.
I don’t really want to write the conclusion if i’m honest, this whole exercise has just shown me how predictable and sterotypical i really am. It’s a strange feeling; I’ve always considered myself a fairly technically advanced person and one that’s always discovering new things online and finding a way to ulitise them. I guess i thought i was different. How depressing then to find that actually i’m about the same as most other people in my age group – particularly those who work in similar fields of industry. What’s even more depressing is that a few years ago i’d have been even more generic with my usage of social media websites (for personal reasons, not for work). Ugh, i’m a little depressed now. Where’s FIFA?