We Now Spend More Time On Facebook Than We Do Taking Care Of Pets Or Sending Email

Have you fed and loved on your pets today? It's a valid question, especially for people who use Facebook. A new survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the average American spends around 40 minutes per day flipping through his or her Facebook feed. That doesn't sound obscene, especially when compared to television, of which Americans spend more than five hours of their day watching, but you might be surprised at which activities we spend less time doing than Facebook.

For example, taking care of pets. The average American spends 39 minutes daily caring for Fido and Shadow (or whatever you've named your dog, cat, fish, reptile, and so forth). Perhaps more interesting is that Facebook use trumps both household and personal email -- the implication there is that social networking is replacing email as the primary means of online communication, or at least rivals it (who knows how much of that Facebook time is spent playing Candy Crush).

Facebook Dog
Image Source: Flickr (Pete Markham)

The statistics are interesting in part because of the large sample. At last count, Facebook is home to 1.32 billion monthly active users (July 2014). As of June, Facebook said it had 128 million daily average users in the U.S., which is equivalent to about 40 percent of the country's total population.

It will always be true that at any given time, Facebook could fall from relevance like MySpace did, but as time goes on, that seems less and less likely. There's much more at stake than there was with MySpace -- Facebook just announced revenue of $2.91 billion for its fiscal second quarter of 2014, up from $1.81 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

You can check out the American Time Use Survey (PDF) for more fun stats on daily activities and how they compare with Facebook use.