It Took A New ‘Star Wars’ To Finally Get People Off The Internet

If anything could distract people from the Internet for a little while, it’s the opening of a new “Star Wars” movie.

“The Force Awakens,” the seventh episode of the popular saga hit theaters Dec. 18, setting a new record for biggest global opening in history with an estimated $528 million in ticket sales. Amid the collective hysteria, web traffic in several major countries dropped consistently right at the time of the film’s first IMAX screening, as shown in the infographic below:

The graphic was created by Imperva, a web security firm which monitors a massive network of over 75,000 different websites and about 320 million unique sessions per day.

For the United States, Imperva examined the hourly changes in traffic in the 24 hours after the first screening of “The Force Awakens” and found that Internet activity declined by 5.15 percent in total. A reason for this additional drop, Imperva said, may be the large number of “Star Wars” fans going temporarily offline or unplugging from social media to avoid spoilers.

In truth, the drop in online traffic might just be a coincidence. But it’s not hard to imagine millions of “Star Wars” fans around the world sinking into their theater seats as they immerse themselves completely in the latest installment from the galaxy far, far away. Who would think of pulling out their smartphones to, say, check Facebook?

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