Tag Archives: internet

More is more

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I like to apply the rule of ‘less is more’ in many aspects of my life, but I can’t help noticing that every day takes us deeper and deeper into a world where ‘more is more’. The perpetual stimulation and, as some may call it, distraction, leaves us with so many things zipping through our minds per day, per hour, even minute that a commitment to a single task seems far from possible for most (Did you not just get a Twitter notification, email, text, phone call?). According to Virgin mobile, 1 in 5 people will interrupt sex to answer a phone call. Most sleep with their phones constantly on and those with smartphones will often check their email before getting out of bed in the morning, with 6 in 10 Blackberry users checking their email in bed on a regular basis. Furthermore, ‘four out of 10 said they kept them nearby as they slept so they could hear incoming mail. A similar proportion said they had replied to emails in the middle of the night. A further 37% responded to emails when they were driving.’

Digital and in particular social media has enabled many phenomenal communication channels as a result of which we seem, and I believe are, better connected both across borders and with our real close social networks. I don’t believe that the nature of human relationships has changed due to the Internet, I believe it has merely enriched our relationships and given us more freedom and choice in how we develop and maintain them. The only possible problem this richness may cause to human relationships is the fact that today we probably deal with more relationships at a time than ever before which leaves less room for each of them. One could claim that our relationships have thus become more shallow, but again, that is a grand generalisation and a personal choice that people can make by themselves. What digital has given us is merely more choices in how we interact with our environments. 

Oh, the choices we, and our children will have to make. How many friends will you manage to talk to this week? Will you call your parents? Will you catch up on you favorite blogs by the end of the week or spend time outdoors instead? Which information and with what restrictions will you put on you Twitter, Fb, whatnot? These are just a few of the decisions to make for most of those engaged in digital. The distraction or rather multi-tasking might not be a bad thing; it might make our minds more flexible and thus capable of processing more information at a time allowing us a greater capacity of experiences within a given unit of time. The neurological changes might make us into a different kind of a human over the next generations, which is a part of evolution, whether in the right or not direction. 

So yes, more is more, but the trick within all of this possibility is not to spread your experience, your life, too thinly. The world of the increasingly ubiquitous more requires more discipline both in our daily behaviour and attention. The small choices every day can be driven by the same logic as paying attention to how to deposit of your recycling – everything mixed together might just not be the best option. Where you start is another question, perhaps not checking your email at night and getting some sleep instead could be one of them. 

For related articles, please read:

Benefits of Distraction at NYT

Rules for balancing technology and relationships at Timesviou

Illustration by Glen Cummings/MTWTF  

(Photo: John Day/Getty Images)

Is the net growing up?

The average Internet user today is around 38 years old. The older generations have an increasing rate of participation online, but the net is still dominated by the younger and educated above average. Is the Internet we’re looking at today just a piece of the future pie? Apart from technological innovation, will it keep expanding even further as the generations become progressively immersed in digital technologies or will we witness some kind of tiring with the net in the later life decades of the coming generations?

I imagine that the pie will keep expanding until all ages are naturally saturated with digital, which might put this in a timeline of the next 60 or so years. It’ll be interesting to see the changes both online and in the industries handling the web, whether marketing or web design, where right now almost all employees are below 40.

Digitall


I have written before about the sharp contrast between the speed of digital innovation and the speed of educating the public on the advantages it brings. Digitall is an initiative based on one to one digital mentoring that supports people over 45 in gaining more knowledge about computers and the net. The mentors are volunteers between 18 and 25 and meet the mentees  for 1 -2 hours a week for up to twelve weeks at selected IT centres. Although one of the aims of the program is to bring generations closer together, I don’t really understand why they don’t allow people over 25 to participate; one would think they’d only get more volunteers if they were more flexible on the age issues.

Digitall is a part of a larger network of mentoring and volunteering initiatives called TimeBank. TimeBank acts as an umbrella organisation connecting charities, volunteering, business and mentoring initiatives. Opportunities range from community projects to refugee, drug addicts and child support. If you don’t know what you’d like to do or try to do, you can just register, tell TimeBank about your interests and they promise to inspire you with relevant opportunities.

Internet population

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Today another great infographic! Justin Wehr just posted this on his blog Wehr in the World. The graphs are a compilation of comScore data from the 15 countries most populated with Internet users. According to comScore, the number of unique users worldwide has just reached a billion, which still leaves  the world with only between 15 and 22 percent of its population on the Internet.

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Using the comScore numbers, here is the breakdown by country and region (in unique visitors as of December, 2008; some of the numbers are rounded):

Top 15 countries, by Internet population:

  1. China: 179.7 million
  2. United States: 163.3 million
  3. Japan: 60.0 million
  4. Germany: 37.0 million
  5. United Kingdom: 36.7 million
  6. France: 34.0 million
  7. India: 32.1 million
  8. Russia: 29.0 million
  9. Brazil: 27.7 million
  10. South Korea: 27.3 million
  11. Canada: 21.8 million
  12. Italy: 20.8 million
  13. Spain: 17.9 million
  14. Mexico: 12.5 million
  15. Netherlands: 11.8 million

Worldwide Internet Audience

  • Asia Pacific: 416 million (41.3%)
  • Europe: 283 million (28.0%)
  • North America: 185 million (18.4%)
  • Latin America: 75 million (7.4%)
  • Middle East & Africa: 49 million (4.8%)

[via Wehr in the World & Techcrunch]

A Brief History of the Internet

History of the Internet is an encapsulation of the development of the Internet since 1957. The animation uses PICOL icons, which are meant to facilitate a standardised and minimalist form of communication in digital. The video is an informative and understandable explanation of the origins of perhaps the most important invention of the past century. Created by Melih Bilgil:

History of the internet is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to file-sharing, from arpanet to internet.  The history is told with help of the PICOL icons, which are also a part of my diploma. The icons are soon available for free on picol.org