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Sunday, January 02, 2005

What would you do without the net?

This was evidently the focus of a study by OMD and Yahoo! (link here).

Here's the "survival guide" to life without the net.

According to the research report, the average survey respondent (US adult) claimed to require:
  • $152 to go without the internet for two weeks;
  • $100 to go without television for two weeks;
  • $46 to go without radio for two weeks;
  • $23 to go without movies at home for two weeks;
  • $10 to go without the newspaper at home for two weeks;
  • $9 to go without movies in theaters for two weeks (page 5).

    So, if the respondents are telling the truth then the price of Internet access is considerably lower than it could be.

    I like this statement from one participant (page 10):
    Went to work, had to buy a paper for my news. Not only was the cost of a paper involved, but felt very inconvenienced by having to carry around the paper which can be cumbersome and annoying to read at work.
    Isn't work supposed to be work - and not reading the paper?

    The best, however, was the list of substitutes for the internet and new activities that were taken up without the net (page 17):
    SUBSTITUTES Conference Calls. Buying newspaper. Postal mail. Shopping Malls. Text messaging. Family Time. Long Telephone Calls. Asking for directions. Faxing documents. Priority Mail. Looking in the phone book. Reading old magazines. Pulling out the roadmap. Offline videogames.

    NEW ACTIVITIES Discovering the pool. Outdoor activities. Board Games. Bike. Getting out of the house. Physical activity. Social gatherings. Sporting events. Visiting the neighbors. Bowling. Garage sale-ing. Boating. Staying home. Weekend excursion. Getting on tread mill.
    So, without the internet, people went back to doing things as they had done them before, like buying a friggin' newspaper. Folks also figured out that there are other things that can occupy free time - including "physical activity."

    One interesting graph was the relationship between social distance and using the net to communicate (page 30):

    Is this because mom and dad don't use the internet or because internet communication doesn't require face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication?

    Overall a pretty interesting study although I wonder about it's generality.

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