A few interesting stats to throw your way (compiled from marketingcharts.com):
- Overall, women (56.2%) on Facebook in the US outnumber men in every age group. This number is up from 54.3% late last year.
- The percentage of younger generations downloading podcasts has nearly doubled since 2006.
- While men continue to watch video on mobile phones more than women, women continue to watch video on the internet and television more than men.
- More than half of US adults text, blog, or otherwise use social media
- The internet activities engaged in by the greatest number of adults are use of e-mail (74.2%), obtaining news (46%) and paying bills online (39.6%).
Nicholas Carr expressed his concern more eloquently in his article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" in The Atlantic this past summer. He says,
Over the past few years I’ve had an uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain, remapping the neural circuitry, reprogramming the memory. My mind isn’t going—so far as I can tell—but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think. I can feel it most strongly when I’m reading. Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.
That is precisely how I feel when I try to read books for school lately. Carr goes on to say that his exposure to the Internet and New Media are the cause of his disconnect, and that Google's desire to influence the way we consume so they can collect our data plays a big part in changing the way our brains function.
Since my laptop has done me the favor of melting down over the weekend, it will be easier for me to go home tonight and not jump right back online. I will fight the urge to turn on the TV, put my phone in its charger and sit on my couch taking in the eerie calm of the real world - that is, if I still can remember what that is.