Opinion: Wired world

I read the other day that the typical user checks his or her smart phone 150 times a day.

Seems low, doesn’t it?

Of course, I base this on my experience as a college professor whose students have been known to check their smart phones as many as 150 times per class session. Either they have a lot of communicating to do, or I need to work on my classroom skills.

(OK, I’m exaggerating. My students check them once a class, during the mid-point break.  I have a rule that says if you produce a smart phone and start dinking around on it while class is in session, you will eat it. And I keep one of those room-service bottles of Heinz ketchup in my briefcase for just such an eventuality.)

Actually, I think lots of people only check their phones once a day, when they wake up in the morning. And then they stay glued to the silly things until they go to bed at night.

The smart phone statistic came to me, as it so happens, when I went to check my smart phone and found an email from an old pal. It also included the following nuggets from the International Association of Chiefs of Police Center for Social Media:

* 56 percent of phones in the U.S. are smart phones. (We cannot say the same of their users).

* The average amount of time per day that Americans spend on Facebook is 40 minutes. (This also seems low to me, too. You can’t post that much nonsense in 40 measly minutes.)

* Approximately 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. (And of them, 99 are of kittens.)

* YouTube users watch more than 6 billion hours of video on the site each month, which equates to nearly an hour for every person on earth. (Watching kittens).

* Seventy-six percent of Facebook users login once a day. (And remain logged in when they’re supposed to be working).

* Each minute, 243,055.5 photos are uploaded to Facebook. (Of which 243,054 are either selfies or pictures of food.)

* Fifty thousand links are shared every minute on Facebook. (See above under kitten videos.)

* Each minute, 150,000 messages are sent on Facebook. (Saying, “Click on my link and check out what I ate last night.”)

* Five million photos are uploaded to Instagram daily. (Which is no big deal. My Uncle Marvin had at least that many slides of the family trip to Yellowstone.)

So what does all this mean? Not much that we don’t already know — that in addition to being a Weird World, it’s a Wired World as well. And if you’re coming at it from the perspective of one who was raised with party lines for the phone and Rural Free Delivery, it can be a little mind-boggling.

But wait, as they used to say on TV. There’s more. Did you know that consumers spend around $272,070 shopping on the Internet every minute? And yes, during December a lot of that was me, doing my Christmas shopping.

But if you really need proof that the world has changed thanks to technology, consider this:

Twenty million e-mails were written in the time it took to read this sentence.

(No word on whether they actually said anything worth reading.)