USC Business School predicts Americans will stop working, eating, and having sex by 2015

A USC researcher also concludes that inflatable penguins will consume 68% more content than humans by 2016.

The USC researcher also concludes that inflatable penguins will consume 68% more content than humans and 47% more than most mollusks by 2016. They still can’t change the television channel however, lacking fingers.

I would like for you to think about this summary statement of a new study by the Marshall School of Business at USC:

By 2015, it is estimated that Americans will consume both traditional and digital media for over 1.7 trillion hours, an average of approximately 15 and a half hours per person per day.

I am NOT making this up. Let’s get our head around this projection.

I did some research and the average person still needs 8 hours of sleep per day. So between consuming content for 15.5 hours per day and sleeping for eight, this accounts for 23.5 hours of a 24 hour day, according to the research.

I’m assuming the other thing we really have to do that is non-negotiable is going to the bathroom during the last 30 minutes USC has left us in our day.

I dug up a study on how much time people in the UK spend in the bathroom. While it may not be fair to declare this is a global average, let’s assume that the 2,500 people polled from that nation are not highly unusual in their toilet occupancy rate. Here is how it adds up:

14 minutes on toilet

12 min in shower

4 min drying off

2 min brushing teeth

According to a USC study, we may be the last generation to brush our teeth.

According to a USC study, we may be the last generation to brush our teeth.

If this is true, then when it comes to spending time on the toilet, I am definitely a six sigma kind of guy.

Any way, that adds up to 32 minutes. Apparently nobody applies make-up in the UK, or perhaps that was beyond the scope of the study. No matter. The implications of this USC research are truly startling. By 2015, the only thing Americans will do is sleep, consume content, and poop. In fact, according to this research, we’re two minutes over. Looks like we will have to stop brushing our teeth.

Notice, there is also no time left for driving, getting dressed in the morning. or kissing the kids goodbye as they toodle off to school. So, just get used to it. This is our harsh new reality.

This is so depressing to me. I am really going to miss sex. And I always found food to be useful too. I even enjoy putting on clothes now and then. Not every day mind you, but a couple of days a week at least. But, you know, USC probably put a lot of effort into this research so we should believe what they say. They are a UNIVERSITY.

What was their methodology?

“These estimates are from an analysis of more than 30 different sources of media data, ranging from traditional media (TV, Radio, Voice telephony) to new digital sources (tablet computers, mobile gaming devices, smartphones, mobile video). Media consumed while at work is not included.”


The fellas from Duck Dynasty could be the real winners from this USC study.

Wow. You mean if we counted content consumed during working hours, that number would be even higher? Oh wait … we don’t have time for work any way because we’re going to be playing Farmville and Watching Duck Dynasty 15.5 hours a day.

I’m guessing their research methodology might be flawed because the TV people they surveyed are probably saying TV consumption will go up and the Google people are saying Googling will be going up, and maybe even we are projected to be doing more Yahooing and so on. Look I have been in business long enough to know that when you are doing a projection for your company at the end of the year, your growth forecasts better look like a hockey stick.

But they can’t ALL be going up. Here’s why. We NEED TO FREAKING EAT SOMETHING. I mean please USC, at least leave us some time for Oreos. They have worked so darn hard to be popular again and they DESERVE to be eaten. The last thing this nation needs right now is further grieving over a stuffed cookie.

I’m no university researcher, and I’m probably going out on a limb here, but I’m going to make my own projection and say that we are NOT going to consume content for 15.5 hours a day in 2015. Let’s think critically before just accepting numbers like this, even if it does come from a university.

But I could be wrong, so please go have sex RIGHT NOW. The end is near!

Note: I know that humor does not translate well into other languages so if this article does not make sense to you, it is meant to be satire.

Credits: Ridiculously cute baby picture courtesy of Flickr CC and Kelsey Kinjo

Strange penguin photo from Flickr CC and Mark Payne

Duck Dynasty promo shot via A&E Network

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  • PeterJ42

    But with my Google Glass I consume content while I’m eating, brushing my teeth and just about everything else (who are you thinking about when we make love, dear?).

    The big question is when we are surrounded by content 24:7, how much of it will we really pay attention to? Less and less is my guess.

    Time to come up with something new – something to cut through the noise of incessant, me-too, averagely inventive (read boring) stuff!

  • PeterJ42

    PS: Tell me more about the penguins. Won’t they be able to change channels using voice commands on their iPhones? Or will they languish forever as just another Google SEO algorithm update?

  • That was hillarious. Thank you for this highlight of my day! Great illustration of how numbers lure people into a false sense of security and stops them from using their actual mind. Insanity at its finest.

  • I think you saw through my article Peter! That is exactly the point I was trying to make. I have been thinking a lot about this. What will content look like in the age of augmented reality? Is it possible that we WILL consume content 15.5 hours a day? What are we giving up?

  • LOL. You got me on that one. Certainly we are entering an era when even Inflatable penguins will consume the content they love : )

  • “Insanity at its finest.” I think I might use that as my new business tagline. What is your licensing fee? : )

  • Please let it be my gift to you. Wear it with pride! 🙂

  • You could write for The Onion, Mark. I think I woke the house up early this morning when I read your six sigma comment. I’m still laughing. More of this please. You’ll do just fine with these types of articles when the content marketing machine self-destructs. 🙂

  • Awesome. I think this could catch on.

  • Ha! The content machine creaking to a halt. That’s a funny image. I used to write funny posts all the time. Somehow my content has shifted to be more serious over the years. Here is one of my favorites that you might enjoy: “This is what happens when Barbie joins Twitter”

  • Ditto the “this was hysterical!” And yes, you could totally write for the Onion. I am new enough I had not seen your funny side, though I’m a fan of your funny Twitter bios posts. LOL Going off now to read your Barbie joins twitter post…

  • Patricia Haag

    I really don’t know what to say about this post. Maybe we will all be fitted with something like a USB port in our heads and just download content all day via WiFi. Super post, Mark!

  • You know, I probably need to crack out the funny a little more. Here is one of my all-time favorites: “How to be a Google Whore.” I did wonders for my SEO : )

  • Thanks Patricia!

  • Frederic Gonzalo

    LOL! Thanks for putting a smile on my face, Mark. I mean, I was already in a good mood, but this article cracked me up. Really, some studies make us wonder how the heck they come up with these figures, gee…

  • Apparently my time on the net, consuming content, will reduce by 2015. Who’d have thunk it 🙂

    The wife will be happy! heheh

  • Awesome. Thanks for letting me know Frederic!

  • Ha! Well that is another perspective!

  • 🙂

  • Steve Woodruff

    But…but…I’m already at 17 hours a day of continuous-content-consumption. You mean I’ll have to CUT BACK????

  • Ha! Guess so Steve.

  • LOLOL! They are both awesome and hysterical! You definitely need to let lose the dogs of humor occasionally! LOLOL

  • In the year 2525………….. (if anyone remembers the Zager and Evans song)

  • Great post! Maybe not quite as far-fetched as one might think. I’ve seen articles about how to live with 4 hours or even no sleep (presumably in order to work 16-24 hours a day for our worldly success), and even how to never take lunch or restroom breaks. Consuming content 24/7? Sure. Maybe we can have it all downloaded directly into our brain 🙂

  • Scary but true Brad!

  • I thought my recent article, “Warning: That Statistic You are Quoting is BS” was an excellent headline … but I concede, Mark. Yours takes the cake. Good work.

  • Better luck next time Don : )

  • Susan

    Oh! I like yours too, Don.

    But, yes Mark, very eye-catching title. 🙂 Scary statistics. However, I think you are overestimating the amount people sleep. Maybe we can eat if we only sleep 6 hours.

  • Great entertaining and thought provoking post, Mark! This would be a great gig on stage, too!
    Regarding the results, the researchers should have known better, that 15 hours of daily media consumption is a bit unrealistic. I haven’t read the research, but maybe there should have been a distinction between active vs passive consumption, overlapping use of multiple devices at the same time (twitter or Facebook as second screens while watching TV?), ubiquitous connectivity through mobile, the increase of wearable computing, etc.
    15 hours or not, because of the reasons above, we are definitely pushed into a continuous media (more digital than traditional) consumption mode. When is enough enough? Individually we should regulate ourselves when to switch to an off line mode and enjoy this “free” time!
    Have fun!!

  • yeah, I have been too serious lately : )

  • That is actually a really good idea. Might try to work that into a presentation : )

  • Thank you, Susan. I liked it too … until I read Marks 🙂 Heading back to the drawing board.

    Concerning the topic, it’s like my son said (upon finally getting up from a video game and going outside with me), “Wow … everything is so … so … REAL out here!”

  • I needed the lesson, Mark. Thank you.

  • You just made my day. I do believe you should take this on the road. I’ll be your agent:) It will be like Seinfeld meets Duck Dynasty meets Sex in the City. I do believe I should start the ticket sales. Thanks for bringing a huge laugh to my day Mark. Cheers! Kaarina

  • love, : )

  • Great! Glad you enjoyed it Kaarina.

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  • This makes the perfect example of what most media do these days: curate data from various sources whitout much care about methodology. This is how lies are built these days, you can prove any nonsense doing this.

  • Pragati Bidkar

    Well, that is some math you did there Mark! 🙂 Thanks for the LOL moment.

  • allarminda

    hahahaha 🙂

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