Hmmmm. . .
This was posted recently on CNN Tech.
We already know that Facebook is the web's biggest time sink. If you look at the average amount of time (according to Nielsen) users spend on the social network, Facebook is a clear winner over sites such as Google or Yahoo.
Now, according to comScore, Facebook is also first when it comes to the total amount of time users are spending on the site.
In August, U.S. web users spent 41.1 million minutes on Facebook, which was about 9.9 percent of their entire web-surfing time in that month.
In this same period, people spent 39.8 million minutes on all of Google's sites, and those include another huge online timesink -- YouTube.
comScore puts Yahoo in third place, with U.S. web users spending 37.7 million minutes on its sites, which was about 9.1 percent of their web surfing time in August.
The numbers are even more impressive when you consider that Facebook had just overtaken Yahoo in July, and in August last year U.S. web surfers had spent less than 5 percent of their online time on the social networking service.
Still, it hardly comes as a surprise: Facebook has been growing steadily in the last couple of years, and in July it announced it had over 500 million active users.
If Facebook keeps growing, a year from now Google may find itself far behind Facebook when it comes to web users' minutes.Reading this, and thinking about my own Facebooking, I had a little mini-epiphany; mini in that it was not about anything approaching cosmic, but an epiphany, nonetheless, in that it was "a sudden, intuitive perception of, or insight into, the reality or essential meaning of something."
Facebook, I realized, is the new smoke break.
Allow me to illustrate my mini-epiphany with a personal story.
My first job in journalism was at the now-defunct Houston Post. I was hired as a researcher for "Action Line," a consumer column. My office was a cubbyhole off the main newsroom -- an enormous, window-less space with rows of wooden desks, on which sat black, upright Underwood typewriters, and over which hung a pall of cigarette smoke. My own office, sad to say, puffed when I opened the door.
I was 19 and smoked at least a pack-and-a-half a day.
Well first of all, I was born attached to cigarettes, straight bourbon, and black coffee. All but the black coffee are gone, but I did enjoy the other two mightily for a time. Until, that is, I came to grips with the sad truth that bourbon and cigarettes were, for me, equally poisonous.
Cigarettes in those days, I think, functioned as my think breaks.
Let me explain.
I have always worked in herks and jerks, periods of intense concentration followed by periods of noodling around. Back during my Houston Post days, everybody I knew smoked. And viewed it as a legitimate and pleasant way to goof-off for a minute or two.