What Does Internet Use Look Like During Christmas?

The holidays are about celebrating with family and loved ones. So, during this time do we pocket our devices and untether ourselves from the web? No, data reveals that our internet usage actually spikes.

What Does Internet Use Look Like During Christmas?

It's Christmas Eve and people are driving, flying, and busing in from all over the nation (and maybe beyond) to see loved ones. Web publications set their posts to autopilot while the staff shrinks to a skeleton crew and office workers are no longer glued to their computers all day long. This situation begs the question, is anyone even on the internet over the holidays?


Joshua Brustein of Businessweek says we are, and in record numbers. For the rest of the week our internet usage will be higher than normal, according to Sandvine, a company that tracks web traffic. The data comes from Christmas 2013, and it tracks usage from the 23rd to the 26th. Each day tells it's own unique story of our ever-increasingly connected holidays.

The morning of Christmas Eve shows a spike in traffic that's much higher than in previous weeks. However, the internet doesn't see any peak traffic in the evening hours of the day--it simmers down to a lull. Brunstien and Sandvine speculate that this discrepancy may be because people are spending time with their families and stowing their phones for the evening.

On Christmas morning, there's a similar spike in the morning, dipping in the evening hours, but peak traffic goes on late into the night. It's possible people are playing with their new “connected” devices, and staying up later since most people have school and work off.

There's a trend of high morning traffic and low dinner-time use, but then users jump back on after partaking in some holiday ham to surf the web and engage later than in normal weeks. Perhaps, families are even sitting down together to watch some internet TV or stream a movie.

It would seem that during the holidays, the internet gets no sleep—in fact, it's in over-drive. But Sandvine believes the spikes are more from connected devices being put under the tree than a lack of family engagement. Sandvine reported that this heightened internet use is also seen during Apple product launches. People can't wait to take out their new toys for a test drive.

Read more at Businessweek

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