A circular dilemma

M. J. Rose, on her excellent blog Buzz, Balls and Hype, posts about yet another survey on internet use, the "2007 Digital Future Report".

"Blogs and websites are reversing 450 years of media trends" is the soundbite sentence of the surveyers (Marketwatch).

One of the results is that 41 per cent of "experienced Internet users" among the respondents said that using the web has reduced their TV viewing. M. J. Rose notes that the survey doesn’t note what effect the Internet has on people’s reading time.  I imagine that my own answer to that question is fairly typical: the Internet has simultaneously drastically reduced my reading time and exponentially increased the number of books I find out about and want to read, because I’ve read an interesting review or discussion about that book. A Morton’s fork, indeed. (Frank, if you are reading this, I believe one of our very earliest interactions was about the term "Morton’s fork".)

I’ll leave Jeffrey Cole, director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, which prepared the report, with the last word: "It’s the first time since the invention of the printing press that ‘the many’ are able to communicate back."

See here for the Marketwatch survey summary and link to full report.

1 thought on “A circular dilemma

  1. For me, the Internet takes time away from newspapers, books, and TV. However, I think I read more in general. I get a lot of news from the Internet, which can count toward reading. TV time is replaced by entertaining myself with reading blogs (no loss since TV is terrible anyway). Sadly, it’s my books that suffer most.

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