Did you know that the part of your brain that reacts to fear, also becomes active when faced with maths and numbers?

Don’t believe me? Had you been in the fabl offices last week and witnessed my arithmetic induced melt-down you would have seen living proof.

It wasn’t necessarily the maths or the volume of numbers that I was trying to process- it was the frustration of taking in countless misinterpreted and ambiguous statistics regarding social media and the internet. They just weren’t adding up as you’d expect numbers to and that was the problem.

I was beginning to despair as every statistic told me something different. Every click of my cursor, every new blog and infographic gave me a conflicting figure to the last and shattered my notions of reality.

And then I stumbled across a real gem of a statistic. According to the survey, people in the UK had spent 3.7 billion hours online in 2012. Great, I thought, I can draw from this many new conclusions about our nation and our obsession with the internet and how it is changing the world we live in.  Fascinating.

Inspired by my progress and with the use of a trusted devise- a calculator- I eventually determined that there are 8760 hours in a year. This multiplied by the number of UK internet users, 43 million, was in total 3.7 billion. The research was right.

So the UK population spent the entirety of 2012 on the internet? When did they sleep? When did they eat? Our nation’s problems were bigger than I’d first suspected.

After further analysis and intensely deep thought, I’d cracked it. The ‘research’ was wrong. I’d been duped.

Was I becoming a gullible internet simpleton? Are we all mistakenly taking everything the internet tells us as being unquestionable fact, especially in regards to figures that are so big I don’t even know how to write them in full? Is this because of the way they are being portrayed to us, or are we just becoming too lazy to bother working out that they simply cannot be accurate?

The biggest conclusion I arrived at was that ‘facts’ and ‘stats’ of the internet must always be approached with caution.

Oh, and the fact about fear and maths- I read that online.