September 20, 2007
The ad agency JWT is peddling a study today that shows how far into the Internet's great maw we've been sucked. Apparently we're getting laid less, as one out of five Americans is giving up sex to stay online longer (no word, though, on whether a porn-stoked upsurge in masturbation frequency is, uh, taking up the slack). More than a quarter of Americans are curtailing facetime with friends in order to surf. And most say they can't stay offline more than a day or two without getting the heebie-jeebies.
I love Techdirt's sunny take:
[People] may spend less time face-to-face, but the net amount of time spent interacting with other people is increased. The statement made by the director of the study that "I don't suppose their partners are too pleased about it" is short sighted -- the assumption that only one of the partners is online is a bit antiquated. Perhaps both partners are actually quite enjoying their time online, and perhaps that time is even spent online with each other.
Yeah, and perhaps their avatars are even rubbing their plug-in genitalia together.
Our rapidly deepening reliance on the Net strikes me as being less a sign of media addiction, as many are spinning it, than of technological dependency. But whichever is the case, I think we're guaranteed to see a counter-movement, and soon. JWT, which is in the business of flattening people into caricatures, calls the most Net-dependent of us "digitivity denizens" - a particularly tortured neologism. But the really smart marketers may want to watch for the arrival of the "digitivity dropouts" who make disconnectivity a fashion statement.
You're being an old fogey :-).
There's very few people who eschew telephones, radio, even TV (yes, there's Amish, I said, very few).
Modern society is extremely technology-dependent. It seems to be a requirement for organizing large populations.
(which is not to be blind about people trying to peddle technological solutions to social problems)
Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at September 20, 2007 02:11 PM
"digitivity denizens" That's just plain ugly.
Say that three times real fast and your head will hurt so much you won't want sex.
Posted by: Shelley at September 20, 2007 06:41 PM
“Yeah, and perhaps their avatars are even rubbing their plug-in genitalia together.”
Nick lets just keep this less lascivious! Since when did any decent person forgo a little foreplay even if it is just for the sake of virtual decency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted by: alan at September 20, 2007 08:00 PM
"the really smart marketers may want to watch for the arrival of the 'digitivity dropouts' who make disconnectivity a fashion statement."
I don't buy it. There's too much utility in the Net for people to drop off. It would be like riding horses instead of using cars, just to be contrarian. I also think you're associating the general public with people like us who spend all their time online, which just isn't the case yet. And people like us won't sacrifice our online time because, well, it's what we do. Unless you're willing to make a complete career change it just ain't gonna happen.
Posted by: Jason Kolb at September 21, 2007 03:16 AM
Hello, Nicholas; I see the fervent Digitarians are all over you on this one. But maybe it's a matter of the number of hours and years one's spent glued to electronic media. I've been at it for over 20 now, and John Naisbitt's phrase and book, "high tech/high touch" is proving to be one of those rare examples of a "futurist" who actually got it right.
The more technical our world becomes, the more we have to make the effort to plant our feet in the physical "real world."
I recently went off on this subject in my blog, titled, "Interface or Face To Face?", saying, "The point is, that with this awesome Swiss Army knife of a tool being utilized to the fullest, there’s still an essential place for meeting and talking with people 'in person' -- looking them in the eye, listening to and responding to what they say, on the spot."
(btw, I found your post here quoted on 9/20 in the Boston Globe's Business Filter, always an excellent resource.)
Thanks for your earthy POV,
Posted by: Bill Ross at September 26, 2007 05:20 PM
An FYI re: formatting
You might want to tell the Typekey people that their Preview shows a different result with line feeds than what appears in the post.
The "Post A Comment" window shows Returns as you've typed them; Preview showed the whole comment as one giant run-on sentence. So I added pairs of html br's, and the result as the saying goes, all "spaced out."
(In this PS, I used a single "break" to see what that yields.)
Posted by: Bill Ross at September 26, 2007 05:27 PM
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