Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Stratification of Technophilia

I surprise no one when I mention the rapid development of the Internet and a myriad of micro-devices from cell phones to PDA's to iPod's to Apple's latest I-Phone. Well, restricting ourselves the to the United States, the population's response predictably falls across a spectrum from cutting edge mastery of the latest to obstinate resistance of the mere existence of such new tools. Readers can visit the Pew Quiz themselves and certainly don't need to take my word for anything. Well, I see no reason to deviate from the classifications they provide. The percentage indicates portion of the US population. I took the quiz, and they classified me correctly.

OMNIVORES (Eight Percent - Median Age: 28)
At the cutting edge, we have what they call the Omnivores. At an average age of 28, they have multiple devices and mastery of each. They text message like fiends and take pictures with their cell phones to be posted on Facebook later that night. They are completely wired and online via phone and or laptop or both and their hand first moved a mouse when they were five.

CONNECTORS (Seven Percent - Median Age: 38)
The connectors entirely embrace the new technology, are solidly connected online and tapped into Web 2.0. They read, create, or post comments at blogs and access news online. Your humble blogger is a connector. No, I don't text message like the omnivores and my cell phone is a phone. It can text message and take pictures, but I don't know how and don't care. It does not connect me to the Internet. I have a computer for that.

LACKLUSTER VETERANS (Eight Percent - Median Age: 40)
This group appreciates the Internet but is less enthusiastic about the small devices. They typically have a desktop and are adept users of online services, but the notion of gadgets does not excite them. Like myself, they may have a cell phone, but they consider it a phone. They have figured out how to pay bills online, buy airline tickets. check the news, but forget about sending them a text message. They are very unlikely to read or comment at a blog. They are also the irritating people that create email lists and forward all sorts of stuff without actually writing original content.

PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCERS (Nine Percent - Median Age: 40)
Individuals of this category accept the utility of the new technology but that's about it. They have a non-enthusiastic "show me the value" approach and adopt what passes muster for their purposes.

MOBILE CENTRICS (Ten Percent - Median Age: 32)
An interesting category that taps the cell phone but not the Internet. These are your cell phone fanatics that know little about the Internet. They love their cell phones and drive us crazy yacking on the stupid phone while they should be driving, paying the cashier, eating their food, or whatever they should be doing instead of shutting up and talking where we don't have to hear them. Forget the Internet. Just don't force them to be apart from their cell phone for fifteen minutes.

CONNECTED BUT HASSLED (Ten Percent - Median Age: 46)
A reluctant group of folks that understand they cannot ignore the development of technology and the Internet. They manage their email and visit sites as necessary, but would prefer a world without this additional hassle.

INEXPERIENCED EXPERIMENTERS (Eight Percent - Median Age: 50)
An older group that sticks their toes in the water without a lot of skin in the game. They surf around, maybe find some entertaining porn, and dabble about without serious effort. They find some interesting sites, like buying flowers for mom, and remain simple.

LIGHT, BUT SATISFIED (Fifteen Percent - Median Age: 53)
Worth noting is the size and age of this group. They meet the new technology on their own terms, casually exploring how it might help without any particular enthusiasm. At least they are open to taking a look. Like the above, they might use the Internet for airline tickets, buy some books at Amazon.

INDIFFERENTS (Eleven Percent - Median Age: 47)
An even less connected group than the above. They might have a computer or a cell phone, but barely use them and have no particular enthusiasm or interest. I speculate an uneducated bunch set in their ways. Note that this group is actually eight years younger than the one above.

OFF THE NETWORK (Fifteen Percent - Median Age: 64)
The individuals in this category have no Internet access at all and no cell phone. They live in a world that no longer exists, oblivious to the exploding nature of the human conversation. They operate in blindness marching to an obsolete beat.

The most striking result if one accepts the above is that the bottom four categories comprise half the population. I consider it rather safe to suggest that the top half are pretty much "tapped in". The bottom half are not.

8 Comments:

Anonymous dustin said...

I suppose I fit somewhere in between omnivore and connector. While I have a cell phone, I feel texting is a waste of time. Why would you want to text when you could just call and say what you have to say in about half the time? I would probably use the camera more, but I can't get the pics off the thing, so it's relegated to daughter pic duty (like wallet pics, but less space!) Call me old fashioned, but I'm pretty much a desktop kinda guy. That's about taste though, I find the desktops easier to upgrade and work on. That may change if they start making standardized laptop parts so as I could build my own, then I'll consider owning one again.

8/08/2007 7:46 AM  
Blogger Framer said...

Ditto what Dustin said, almost exactly.

Oh, and I am freaked out by people who wear the bluetooth headsets 24/7, and don't even have a little bit of a desire to own an iphone.

8/08/2007 10:38 AM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I classified as an omnivore, although I am pulling up the age average.

8/08/2007 10:40 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

I'm definitely a connector or at least a near connector. I have developed an aversion to talking on the phone, and I consider a cell phone to be something that you might use to call for a tow truck or locksmith.

8/08/2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

I figured it was Sirocco pulling up the age of that group. 28 seems high given all of the omnivores in the high schools and colleges. I figure to get the average to 28, Sirocco must be about 4 million years old.

As I said, I am pretty consistent with what each of you has written. I don't like the gadgets, but unlike Dustin, I have gone notebook and love to be able to take it to coffee shops, etc although it doesn't happen often.

I'm with framer on those ear pieces and the guys that are in full blown conversations while buying groceries, and I CANNOT STAND the jerks that talk at volume on a cell in the middle of a restaurant or coffee shop.

Dustin, I asked the daughter about the appeal of text over just a regular call, and she said it was the silence. Kids can text each other during a class, in the theater, and so on.

Using a phone in the middle of a movie? I'm must be getting old.

8/08/2007 2:13 PM  
Anonymous the doctor said...

Cool story. How do you do it?

You are growing. 1993. It is really something to watch. As Navigator has mentioned, I can't even begin to imagine Premiere running at your keyboard.

I am also a Connector. I am online for extended lengths of time and access my news at cnn, msnbc, and the other online sites. I don't read a ton of blogs, but quite a few. Like what others have said, my boundary is the fancy gadget stuff. I have a laptop that has a wireless. I don't have the thing in my ear or the Blackberry. A regular cell phone is enough, and just use it as a phone.

I am curious about all of you. Do any of you have land line phones? What's the point? I don't understand why anyone would have a land line. Am I not seeing something?

8/08/2007 11:18 PM  
Blogger Sirocco said...

I do not have a land line phone. I agree with you, I just don't see much use for one.

8/09/2007 7:31 AM  
Anonymous dustin said...

I have a land line, mostly because I make most of my calls from home. When it comes to my cell phone, I guess I'm a one thing at a time kinda guy. I don't talk and shop,drive,watch movie, stand in line, work, etc. If I'm in the car and really need to call someone, I'll pull over somewhere, or call from my destination. x4mr, my wife used the same logic for text messaging, and I agree with it. What I don't like about it is this, if I am paying 8.00 to see a flick, come hell or high water, that movie is being watched. I also like to pay attention in class, as I learn best under instruction. I have seen the texters in the movies, and they drive me crazy. The bright cell phone screen is a real distraction, like something in the corner of your eye that you can't ignore. I guess I just don't feel that I need to talk to someone that bad. Cell phones are still "new" in that more folks now have them. I hope it does not take long for cell phone etiquette to develop.

As an aside, I wonder if cell phones really bring us closer together. I think they bring us closer to the people we love, friends, family etc. I also think that it does so at the cost of our connection to people we don't know, but encounter everyday. I cannot count how many times I've been nearly run over at the store by earpiece guy/gal, or nearly hit while driving. I love gadgets, but I have to wonder what the true cost of owning them really is.

8/09/2007 7:49 AM  

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