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By Matthew Campbell, Head of SME and FTTH at SEACOM

Have you ever stopped to wonder just how much time we spend on the Internet? If like, many South Africans, you use the Internet to connect with loved ones, pay bills, shop, stream, work, or even browse the web looking for new recipes to try, you’ll know that it forms a central part of our daily lives. From online calendars and appointments to fitness management trackers, we also use the Internet to run and manage our day-to-day activities.

The Internet is all around us ­­– it connects us, makes our lives more comfortable, and helps us cope with all the chaos currently plaguing the world. Because of this, data is being created at an immense pace. We upload, share, search, and create new data without giving it a second thought. It’s become commonplace for us to quickly whip out our phones if we need to look something up or kill the boredom by mindlessly scrolling through social media – but what do the stats say?

Let’s dive straight in – here are some fascinating facts about the Internet we bet you didn’t know.

Social media in 2021

We spend a ton of time on our phones, and most of the time, it’s dedicated to social media. It’s a hub of information and an opportunity to maintain social connections and support groups that would otherwise be impossible without the Internet. But do you know just how often social platforms are used and, more importantly, how much you contribute to these numbers?

According to All Access, in just one minute on the Internet, an average of 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, 69 million messages are sent via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, 695,000 Insta Stories are posted, and 200,000 people are tweeting their opinions. At any given time, about 28,000 subscribers are watching Netflix, 9,132 connections are being made on LinkedIn, 1.4 million people are scrolling through Facebook, and the list goes on.

It really makes you stop and wonder just how much time you spend on social sites. It’s estimated that we spend about 145 minutes per day on social media. That’s over two hours per day just staring at our phones.

Digesting the bigger picture

While these stats are quite impressive, it’s merely the tip of the iceberg. Internet statistics reveal that over 4.9 billion people across the world use the Internet every day, and more than 1.86 billion websites currently exist online. Good news: there are still hundreds of thousands of cat memes to discover. It’s also estimated that the number of Internet users grows by about 8.2% per year, and with so much content being produced (around 7 million blog posts per day), it’s easy to see why people would turn to the web.

And when they do, what’s their browser of choice? Google is the most popular web search engine, dominating with 92.7% of the market share, followed by Bing (2.78%) and Yahoo (1.6%). Sorry, Internet Explorer, but we can’t argue with the facts.

The Internet is undoubtedly one of the most important tools we have at our disposal today. It drives the economy, gives us an outlet to blow off some steam, and has the potential to project us into a smart future where everything – including household items – will be powered through innovative connected technology. It’s a pretty great feeling to know that we will be the generation to see all of this happen.