How much of our lives do we spend online?

Daniel Markuson

August 5, 2021

How much of your life do you think you spend online? It may be more than you think. NordVPN found out how much of their lives Spanish, German, and French internet users spend online. The results might surprise you.

dark shirt-wearing man with beard and earring works on laptop in a trendy office

The survey results

In June 2021, NordVPN surveyed thousands of internet users in Spain, France and Germany to determine how much time they spend online.

What follows is the key data summed up. We’ll break it down for you in greater detail further on in the post.

  • In Spain, the average internet user will spend 28 years, 9 months, and 10 days online. The average life expectancy in Spain is 83.43 years, according to the World Bank.

  • In France, the average internet user will spend 27 years, 7 months, and 6 days online. The average life expectancy in France is 82.72 years, according to the World Bank.

  • In Germany, the average internet user will spend 24 years, 8 months, and 14 days online. The average life expectancy in Germany is 80.89 years, according to the World Bank.

graphic depicting the online lifetimes of spain, france, and germany

Key insights and comparisons

Respondents were asked about how they spent their time online as well. Here are some of the most interesting comparisons:

  • The average Spanish user spends almost 2-3 hours more per week (8:04 hrs) streaming content than French (6:18 hrs) and German (5:19 hrs) users.

  • The average German user spends much less time on social media per week (4:12 hrs) than Spanish (6:01 hrs) and French (6:39 hrs) users.

  • There were more similarities than differences across all three countries. When it came to activities like research, video calls, gaming and others, the highest and lowest national weekly averages all fell within no more than 30 or 40 minutes of each other.

What can we learn from this?

This data offers an interesting comparison between the habits of internet users in different countries. However, it also grants valuable insights that can help us prioritize our time.

It is clear that these Europeans will spend between 1/4th and 1/3rd of their lives online. That’s a lot of time, and it really helps put the importance of cybersecurity into perspective. Despite how much time we all spend online, we believe that users are still poorly informed about online risks. We all know to look both ways when crossing the street, but do we all know how to stay safe online?

Here are some tips we have for staying secure:

  • Track your own habits: Spend some time tracking how you spend your time online. There are apps that can help with this, or you can start keeping an internet journal. This can help you identify where your greatest risks lie and whether there are easy ways to improve your security.

  • Learn about cybersecurity: Once you know where you like to spend your time online and what the associated risks might be, you’ll be ready to find cybersecurity solutions. If you browse the web a lot, get a more secure browser. If you send lots of files back and forth, consider using an antivirus or a secure cloud storage program like NordLocker.

  • Use a VPN: A VPN is one of the most comprehensive and broadly applicable online security tools you can get. If you’re spending 1/3rd of your life online, it’ll wrap that 1/3rd in powerful encryption.

Read the original blog post on NordVPN.