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Time poorly spent

Data recently published by Bedrock Data Solutions in their excellent “8 Bits Make a Byte” newsletter:

47 seconds – average attention span at work
238 words per minute – average reading speed for non-fiction
20 minutes – time average adults spend reading on a weekday
21 minutes – time average adults spend reading on a weekend
120 minutes – average time spent on the phone per day
240 minutes – time spent watching TV per day
35 minutes – time spent commuting to work
21% of adults cannot read above a 5th-grade level

Bedrock Data Solutions assembled this data to demonstrate how attention span is diminishing in a world filled with screens that demand our time.

The average adult is barely reading anymore, and more than one in five adults can’t read above a fifth-grade level.

Frightening stuff.

But here is what concerned me the most about the data:

The average adult spends six hours per day watching television or phone screens. If they are sleeping 6-8 hours per day and working about eight hours per day, that leaves about two hours for everything else:

Eating. Exercising. Socializing. Bathing. Sex. Shopping.

Based on these numbers, it would seem that most humans have become passive content consumers. Instead of engaging with life in meaningful, active, and productive ways, people are spending vast amounts of time watching stuff—either other human beings pretending to be different human beings or human beings presenting an idealized form of their lives on social media.

This is a recipe for disaster.

Not only does it explain the deteriorating state of physical health in our country, but it’s almost certainly contributing to the epidemic of loneliness, anxiety, and depression impacting people today.

It’s also a surefire way to look back upon your life with aching regret.

If these numbers reflect your life in any way, it may be time to reflect on how you’re spending your time.