What is Terminally Online?

Stay at home Covid-19’s negative effects on internet usage: Who Is Addicted And What Are The Consequences?

John Riley

People log in to their favorite social media sites all over the world every day and spend hours on them. Social media has become so popular it has become a major addiction for millions of people around the world. The effects of social media addiction have only just started to be documented thoroughly. These social media addiction statistics will quite literally blow your mind.

While the term was in use as early as 2014, it gained use over the latter half of the 2010s in conjunction with the increasing prevalence and notability of Internet phenomena in all areas of life.[1] Extremely online people, according to The Daily Dot, are interested in topics “no normal, healthy person could possibly care about”,[1] and have been analogized to “pop culture fandoms, just without the pop”.[1] For someone to be “terminally online” they have to be using the internet and social media beyond the average time people spend online per day which is 2.5 hours. They mindlessly swipe video after video on TikTok, share everything about their life on social media because they feel they need to, and share private information for no good reason other that to share. Urban Dictionary defines terminally online as: “Someone who is basically always on the internet and their entire existence revolves around being on the internet. People who are chronically online typically have no real friends IRL, and stay online starting useless debates that literally achieve nothing outside of a screen.” I have seen this many times on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. Celebrities and content creators whose job is creating content for social media and sites like Youtube spend on average less that a normal user. The Youtuber Mutahar “SomeOrdinaryGamers” has stated, and I am paraphrasing,

“I create content, do what I need to do, post to social media and then shut down my computer and walk away, I have a life outside in the real world”


It is fair to say that those who are terminally online care more about a content creators social media and content then they do and do not recognize themselves as having a problem because they are a superfan who wants to be noticed. Mutahar has also admitted to being addicted to the internet in the past and used to doomscroll which can be a serious issue, let’s discuss it.

Doomscrolling or doomsurfing is the act of spending an excessive amount of screen time devoted to the absorption of negative news. Increased consumption of predominantly negative news may result in harmful psychophysiological responses in some cases [1a].

There is another phrase used as a response by others on the internet when encountering TMI (too much information) or content that comes off as off-putting and out of touch. The phrase is “touch grass” which is used when someone is doing something weird, stupid, or pointless. it means they need to come back to reality, they need to get some fresh air and get back in touch with how the real world works. Created during the COVID-19 pandemic, when everyone was instructed to stay home as much as possible, limiting the amount of social interaction people experienced to mostly-online.

56.8% of the world’s total population is active on social media. This equates to about 4.48 billion people that use social media worldwide. Both of these statistics are looking at eligible audiences aged 13 years and above.] It is estimated that more than half of the children aged 11 and 12 have personal social media profiles even though most social media platforms have a minimum age requirement of 13+ years old.

Which Gender Uses Social Media More By Platform?

The results of which gender uses which platforms are in:

Female User (%)Male User (%)

Which Gender Uses Social Media More By Region?

Regional use of social media has a significant effect on the male and female social media statistics:

North America54%46%
South America52%48%
Western Europe50%50%
Southern Africa52%48%
Southern Asia27%73%

Social Media Usage By Country

The results might surprise you when looking at internet users that are active on social media in each country.

CountryPercentage (%)
South Korea89.3%
Hong Kong85.6%

While social media does offer a lot of benefits, it can also pose a lot of threats. If you don’t keep a close eye on how much you use social media, it can easily become a time-consuming addiction in your life. If you or someone you love appears to show characteristics of internet addiction, especially minors, sit them down and talk to them. Show interest in what they are doing and encourage them to go outside with you and get some fresh air and do something social with you, it could help but if it does not at least it is a start and you can show you care.


[1a] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomscrolling






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