9 March 2020

To navigate our digital world with skill – aware of the benefits, challenges, and keys for digital wellbeing – we need to understand the nature of our digital world. How does it work? How many of us are online now and what does the future hold for digital wellbeing?

Hootsuite and We Are Social recently released a fascinating report called Digital 2019 that records the scale of internet, social media and digital technology use. It gives you both an idea how things lie in terms of current usage and an indication of how the world will continue to be shaped by and dependant on digital technology.

GLOBAL INTERNET USE

The report reveals, for example, that with a worldwide population of 7.676 billion people around 5.112 billion people (67% of worldwide people) are unique mobile users and 4.388 billion people (57%) use the internet. To give you a sense of the growth in usage, from January 2018 to January 2019, more than 100 million people have become unique mobile users and more than 367 million people have become internet users. In one year…that’s huge growth!

Because the world population only increased by 1.1 % in that time compared to 9.1% of new internet users, it seems quite possible that if usage keeps growing in our lifetime we may see close to the world’s entire population connected online.

THE AIR WE BREATHE

These brief statistics from a comprehensive report show how important it is that we reflect on our digital wellbeing because our digital world is increasingly the air we breathe. This is certainly the case when we learn from the report that the average internet user is online 6 ½ hours a day resulting in the worldwide community altogether spending 1.2 billion hours online in 2019. Interestingly, however, the report suggests that more people are beginning to think consciously about their internet use so that passive consumption of online media is reduced and more intentional usage occurs.

That’s the aim of Zoom and we’re excited to think that in some way we can contribute to young people think mindfully about how to live in our digital world. Next week, we continue this exploration by looking at how big tech companies battle for our attention. See you then!