Social Networking: A Waste of Time?

Here’s a sign of social networking’s growing presence in modern life: It has surpassed TV viewing as the preeminent waster of people’s time. At any rate, it tops the waste-of-time standings in a 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll released this week.

Respondents were given a list of six activities and asked to pick the one they regard as “your biggest waste of time.” A plurality (36 percent) chose “social networking,” putting it easily ahead of runner-up “fantasy sports” (25 percent) and third-place “watching television” (23 percent). Few votes went to “shopping” (9 percent), “reading” (2 percent) or “your job” (2 percent).

While the poll didn’t include “sexual fantasizing” among its options for biggest waster of time, it likely encouraged some with another of its questions. People were asked to say which of six women they consider “the most eligible single woman in the world.”

Among male respondents, Jennifer Aniston and Halle Berry tied for the most votes (27 percent
apiece), followed by Tiger Woods’ ex-wife Elin Nordegren (16 percent), Lady Gaga (9 percent), Betty White (7 percent) and Elena Kagan (4 percent).

Aniston was tops among the poll’s female respondents (32 percent). Closely bunched were Berry (16 percent), Nordegren (15 percent) and White (14 percent), with Kagan (5 percent) and Gaga (2 percent) trailing.