The New York Times > Technology > Internet Use Said to Cut Into TV Viewing and Socializing: "The average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists.
The survey found that use of the Internet has displaced television watching and a range of other activities. Internet users watch television for one hour and 42 minutes a day, compared with the national average of two hours, said Norman H. Nie, director of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, a research group that has been exploring the social consequences of the Internet.
Over all, 57 percent of Internet use was devoted to communications like e-mail, instant messaging and chat rooms, and 43 percent for other activities including Web browsing, shopping and game playing. Users reported that they spent 8.7 percent of their Internet time playing online games.
The researchers found that the amount of Internet use does not differ by gender. But women on average use e-mail, instant messaging and social networking more than men, while men spend more time browsing, reading discussion groups and participating in chat rooms.
Younger people in the sample tended to favor immediate forms of online communication, while older people used e-mail more frequently."