Thursday, August 04, 2005

I'm a Tech Optimist?

This random article from has some interesting (and some obvious )points: Study: Technology 'optimists' turn off TV.

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Broadband Internet surfers in North America watch two fewer hours of television per week than do those without Internet access, while those using a dial-up connection watch 1.5 fewer hours of TV.

The data come from a Forrester Research study released Tuesday that uses what it calls the longest-running survey of its kind, counting nearly 69,000 people in the U.S. and Canada as participants.

Broadband Internet users watch just 12 hours of TV per week, compared with 14 hours for those who are offline, according to the study, "The State of Consumers and Technology: Benchmark 2005."


While its conclusion that Internet usage detract from other media is not new, the study delves deeper than others, separating consumers into various categories, including technology "optimists" and "pessimists" and "tenured nomadic networkers."

Folks making up the latter category have had Internet access in their networked homes for at least five years and own a laptop computer. These nomads watch just 10.8 hours of TV each week.

While newspapers and magazines also suffer a bit from Internet competition, radio and video games do not, the study concludes.

The study defines a tech optimist as believing technology will make life more enjoyable, while pessimists are indifferent or even hostile to technology. Pessimists outnumber optimists 51 percent to 49 percent.

"Online media attracts technology optimists in droves," says the report, noting that they are three times more likely to use streaming media and peer-to-peer file sharing and read blogs as are their pessimistic counterparts.

Optimists play video games, read magazines and listen to the radio more than do pessimists, while pessimists watch more television. Newspaper reading, according to the study, is identical among the two groups.

It only makes sense that heavy internet users spend less time watching TV. I suspect the next generation will watch far less TV. My wife and I probably spend 5-6 hours a week in front of the TV (usually on Sundays and Wednesdays). Most of our time is on the internet. I get 95% of my news off the internet, participate in online communities (Toyota Underground), and entertain myself online (Homestar Runner, to name one). When people start talking about "American Idol" or the Survivor series, I remain completely clueless. I suspect this population segment will continue to grow...and TV will eventually cease to exist in the way it has for years.


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