One thing Americans are not in short supply of right now is time. With folks far and wide practicing social distancing and self-quarantine, there’s simply not a whole lot to do to pass the time.
Enter the internet, which is keeping Americans informed and entertained, and, as a result, is under enough strain that YouTube – America’s most-visited non-search site – has reduced their default video quality to standard.
And YouTube may be on to something, as 63% of Americans in a recent CivicScience study say they’ve experienced at least a little slowdown in their internet connectivity during the coronavirus crisis. The younger someone is, the more likely to report at least “somewhat” of a slowdown. Gen Z, for instance, reports their internet has slowed down at over a 31% higher rate than the 55+ crowd.People who are often multitasking on numerous devices at once are really feeling the internet slowdown, as they report disruption at a 40% higher rate than people who aren’t tweeting while watching TV.
And people who often use YouTube and Netflix also report higher-than-normal slowdowns in their internet service.
But despite a majority of Americans finding their internet is slowing down, only 4% of the country has upgraded their service, switched providers, or both.Three groups, however, over-index in this department, and they’re clearly intertwined: Parents, Gen Z, and Millennials. With mom and dad working online and distance learning happening at the same time for the kids, getting the internet up to speed is of slightly higher importance for these groups.Overall, people are definitely reporting slower than normal internet speeds. But with only 4% seeking to do something about it, perhaps most Americans see an end in sight and any major changes to their internet packages not worth the time.