The Bigger Picture
As I get further on the quest to reconnect with the concrete world, I’ve gained new perspective. I’ve come to see that the problems worth solving are older, more familiar, and more interesting than the problems caused by the Internet.
Social media is important. The participatory culture is changing the very nature of human relationships. But that change is barely a glimpse. It hasn’t happened yet.
A little perspective: In a PEW Internet and American Life Project report released August 6th, Deborah Fallows offered some stunning research that might ground things.
Almost half of all internet users now use search engines on a typical day
Online search 49%
Check news 39%
Check weather 30%
Research hobby 29%
Surf web for fun 29%
Visit social networking site 13%
30% of Internet Users are offline on a typical day.
The report explains that searchers are likely to have some college education, incomes over $50K, and are more likely to be men (53%) than women (45%). 58% of those with broadband at home search daily, while only 26% with dial-up search that often. The age ranges breakdown like this:
18 Ã¢â¬â 29 years 55%
30 Ã¢â¬â 49 years 54%
50 Ã¢â¬â 64 years 40%
65 years and older 27%
Explanations are given in the report.
Participation is big in our tiny corner of the Internet it’s not big in every person’s life. The participatory culture is hardly on the radar for most human beings. They’re not near here yet.
Few folks care about another fix for Twitter. Life goes on for most humans without a thought to a dashboard for organizing social networking sites. In the world of human problems, all of social media and social networking issues are a tiny dot.
Real people still have real problems — the kind that social media folks ALSO have. Social tools and social strategies that solve those problems are worth something.
Meanwhile, real people are searching . . . are we what they’re searching for?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!