I'm not sure if this is on topic on meta but we don't have a meta-meta to ask whether it is appropriate to ask this on meta. Anyway my question is the following:

How much time do you spend on average on Physics SE per day?

  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Does having it open in the background while working count as spending time on it? $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 14, 2015 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ I'd say it counts since you are probably regularly checking if there is a question that you can answer or reviewing first post queues or whatever. $\endgroup$
    – Gonenc
    May 14, 2015 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ ..... Yes.... regularly $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 14, 2015 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @JimtheEnchanter also including the time in chat! $\endgroup$
    – Gonenc
    May 14, 2015 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ Including weekends? $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 14, 2015 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Why not include them too? You are heading for 10-15 hours aren't you? $\endgroup$
    – Gonenc
    May 14, 2015 at 19:59
  • $\begingroup$ Per day? Nowhere close. If we include weekends and whatnot, I'm in the range of 2-4 hours, on average. $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 14, 2015 at 20:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JimtheEnchanter That was an obvious exaggeration :) $\endgroup$
    – Gonenc
    May 14, 2015 at 20:06
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I even want to know how much time I'm on here... $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    May 14, 2015 at 20:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I log in when I get to work in the morning and sign out when I leave. So, if you want, you could say all of that is time I'm on this site. But if you were my supervisor, I wouldn't tell you that $\endgroup$
    – Jim
    May 14, 2015 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ This is just Physics, not SE as a whole, right? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    May 15, 2015 at 0:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 yes just Physics SE $\endgroup$
    – Gonenc
    May 15, 2015 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


It's very variable. I check the questions in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening, but how long I spend on the site depends on whether any of the questions catch my eye.

It can take a surprisingly long time to write a thorough answer, especially since the answers that are most fun are the ones at the edge of my knowledge, so I have to spend time researching them. It's not unusual for me to spend an hour on an involved answer. Some of the canonical Q/As I've written have taken a day or more, but that's a special case as it's more akin to writing an article.

I suspect the reason we so often see experienced site members posting brief answers as comments is because it can take such an investment in time to write a proper answer. I trust the OPs appreciate just how much effort is put in on their behalf :-)

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ John and Kyle (and many others), I'm sure I speak for a lot of people when I say thanks for your efforts! - you are Stakhanovs of Stack Exchange! $\endgroup$
    – innisfree
    May 16, 2015 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ For reference to innisfree's comment $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    May 17, 2015 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Hi sir, how much time did you take to write the Brazil-nut effect answer? It was a great answer indeed. Also'll not forget to mention the brilliant (to me) explanation of slow-amplitude modulation with the illustration; indeed have taken much time! BTW, you can take this comment synonymous to a big thank you for spending much time to explain the concepts, without getting annoyed by later queries :) $\endgroup$
    – user36790
    May 19, 2015 at 4:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Pacerier: typically one of my canonical Q/As would take intermittent bursts of activity spread over a few days. The total time take is very variable, but around 8 hours is probably reasonably typical. Bear in mind that much of this time is reading around the area, so it isn't 8 hours tapping away at the keyboard. $\endgroup$ May 27, 2015 at 8:48

Just take a look at the stats page of each of the review pages (or my 4 Steward badges) and my Marshal badge and you can see how I spend most of my time on Physics.SE (which is also a subtle hint for those with 2k+ rep to start reviewing what you can & those with 3k+ rep to start reviewing the close queue).

I usually spend about 20-30 minutes in the morning (while cooking breakfast & drinking coffee) on the (Android) mobile app looking at questions that were posted (trying to manually review, since there isn't a review page on the app) and voting up/down as I see fit. I typically spend another hour or so in the afternoon (during the kids' nap time) and at night (after the kids' bed time) reviewing and answering/commenting what I can. All tolled, that's between 2 and 3 hours per day and less on weekends that I actually spend time doing things on the site.1

Like John, if I find a question that interests me I'll think about the answer for a bit (usually while reviewing and doing daily duties) and spend at least 20 minutes writing one up (usually longer if I need to find links or if the wife and/or kids need attention)--this number is subtracted from the time spent on reviews, so the net 2-3 hours is the same.

1 The numbers quoted here are for my active time on Physics; the tab is open in the background in my browser always, so once the computer is un-suspended (re-animated?) I'm technically "on." In this case, the number is probably closer to 6 hours a day (and longer when I was still a student working 10 hours days).

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "... longer when I was still a student working 10 hours days". Somebody ping his supervisor :P $\endgroup$
    – 299792458
    May 18, 2015 at 6:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ He knows I spent time doing stuff on this site, I promoted it all the time. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    May 18, 2015 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ @KyleKanos, Any bonus points as a result? $\endgroup$
    – Pacerier
    May 27, 2015 at 8:40

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