Imagine the situation: you’re waiting for a train or a bus, and you
decide to check Facebook to see what your friends have been up
to. After three to four minutes you’ve consumed enough energy to
keep an LED bulb lit for an hour. But what if you decided to watch
an HD video from YouTube? Just 45 seconds of video could keep
that LED bulb lit for an hour.
So, now you’re wondering why your phone’s battery doesn’t die after ten minutes’ use – the answer is that most of the energy use caused by your online activity is not happening in your phone itself, it’s all the other technology that’s busy working to feed data to you. Ericsson estimated in 2015 that each gigabyte (GB) of data took 2 kWh of electricity to transport over the mobile network – a lot more than that used in your phone, or even than that used in the data centres run by Facebook or Google.