97 Percent of Adults Don’t Read Terms and Conditions Of Online Platforms, Here’s Why

Reading the terms and conditions for any service that you want to use is vital because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up enabling you to better understand what said service will require of you. That becomes especially important when you take things like data protection and privacy into account, but it’s no secret that the vast majority of people just accept these terms and conditions without having read them at all.

In fact, according to Statista around 97% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 don’t read these terms. Many would say that this is because they are lazy and that they don’t take their privacy online as seriously as they should, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that the reason for this might have less to do with laziness and more to do with the length of these documents.

It can often take a really long time to get through the entire document. One of the shortest terms and conditions belongs to Instagram, and it contains 2,451 words in total. At an average reading speed of about 240 words a minute, it would take around ten minutes for you to get through the entire document. That’s not a lot, but it can seem so when you are just trying to make an Instagram account.

Also, Instagram is a bit of an outlier in this regard. Facebook, for example, has a terms and conditions page of about 4,100 words and this would take at least seventeen minutes to read at an average reading speed. That’s a lot of time to spend on something of this sort, but once again it is on the lower end of the spectrum since many other companies have much higher reading times required.

Perhaps the worst offender in this regard is Microsoft. The company has an absolutely massive terms and conditions page that contains over 15,000 words, the size of a short novel. It would take well over an hour to read through these terms and conditions, and suffice it to say that no one is about to spend an hour doing something of this sort.

Another thing to note is that this only talks about the time it takes to read these things. Actually digesting the information would likely take a lot more time since much of the information is presented in complicated legalese. Hence, if you wanted to fully understand the implications of Instagram’s very short terms and conditions, you’d probably need at least thirty minutes which is far more time than most people would be willing to commit.

While it is essential for people to start reading these things before signing up for a service so that they know what they are in for, more work also needs to be done in order to ensure that corporations make more easily readable terms and conditions. Microsoft in particular needs to shorten this document so that people would actually want to read through it.

Also, making it a habit to set aside at least fifteen to twenty minutes before signing up for a service to skim through its terms of service might do a lot of good. It’s not a huge length of time in the long run and it can help you protect yourself from corporations that might not exactly have your best interests at heart if you think about it.
97% of people between 18 and 34 years old accept the conditions without reading them
97% of people between 18 and 34 years old accept the conditions without reading them
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