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80s Airwaves - 80’s Music, Movies, Media & More » Blog Archive » Facebook Wastes Nearly 400 Lifetimes Each Day

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Facebook Wastes Nearly 400 Lifetimes Each Day

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Many years ago I picked up on a barely humorous saying about “infinite spare time”. Someone would say “can you take a look at this in your infinite spare time.” It was an acknowledgment that we realize that our time is short, and we are all busy, but whatever “it” was, it was important of the time you could spare to look at it. When you’re overloaded at work and someone throws on a major project, you’ll think about your infinite spare time.

So having been following author Clay Sharky since his impressive 2008 gel appearance that I began to take interest in his theories and writings. His latest book, Cognitive Surplus, does a great job of detailing what we do when there’s nothing we NEED to do. According to Clay, the world has over a trillion hours of free time each year to commit to projects. So what actually takes up our time and why? In the decades past we have become masters of consumption, but we also like to create and we like to share (enter Facebook).

The jury may still be out on where Facebook ranks on that scale of rewarding versus useless activities, but given my recent awareness of Shirky’s Cognitive Surplus, and my initial refrain and then submission to Facebook, and being a technologist at heart, I couldn’t help but sink my teeth into this technical story and interview with Facebook’s Systems Engineer, Tom Cook. The story is a bit dated; it’s before their recent 500 Million member milestone, but that’s probably a benefit to my point. But the two important facts about FB mentioned are in the first bullet point and the paragraph just above it:

200 Million Users Use FB every day.

Those users spend 16 Billion minutes on FB every day.

That means the average FB user spends an hour and 20 mins on FB each day. Not that impressive; as a nation the USA still spends more time in front of the TV. But 16 BILLION minutes per day, collectively on FB. If I did my math correctly;

16 billion minutes is equal to 266.66 million hours.
266.66 million hours is equal to 11.11 million days.
11.11 million days is equal to 370 thousand months (at an average of 30 days each).
370,370 months is equal to 30,441 years.
And, if according to Google, the average life expectancy of an adult is 78.5 years; 30,441 years would equal 387.79 adult LIFETIMES.

So, yes, nearly 388 lifetimes daily spent, wasted, enriched, fulfilled, shared, whatever, on Facebook. Personally, I think it’s probably best if we all go back to watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island while drinking gin.


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