Monday, May 19, 2008

The Age of Cyberness

People over a certain age exist in a universe where it's almost as if the web doesn't exist and things like the nightly news, the daily paper, and the cable networks are utterly dominant. For people below a certain age, the nightly news is totally irrelevant, the daily paper is primarily a website, and things like blogs and web videos matter a great deal.
I’m not sure you can draw a line at a particular age, but he’s right; there are internet people and non-internet people (or in the silly lexicon of Illinois politics, that would be internet-centric and non-internet-centric). Yes, the non-nets tend to skew older simply because it isn’t what they have been used to, while the nets folks have practically grown up with it. If you are reading this blog you almost certainly belong to the nets group.
Clearly, I fall into nets camp. Sure, I grew up non-nets because the internet didn’t exist in any usable or comprehensive fashion until after I was 35. I used to read newspapers and magazines (the paper kind) and religiously watch the TV network newscasts. I don’t do any of that anymore. I read a number of newspapers online, only read news magazine articles I’m pointed to on the net and most of my TV news come from the cable news networks or online video links. (Is cable maybe a common media for both groups?)

Still, I wonder if there is an age where this divide breaks one way or another. I’m guessing (wildly) that the age where people get more of their information from non-internet sources is about 40 or 45. This would have to take into account access and a million other factors but that’s my best guess. Obviously there’s going to be a mix for almost any individual. On rare occasions I still pick up (but not buy) a newspaper or magazine (think Dr.’s office or newsstand) and even more traditional people may use email wherein they get some news. It’s difficult to find the informational divide based solely on age.

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