Saturday, August 14, 2010


I jokingly refer to people as “techno-curmudgeons,” who use the Internet but complain, it seems incessantly that they “feel overloaded” with information. In my definition, these are people who ostensibly use the Internet but complain about having to use it or keep up with it.Technocurmudgeons

In the workplace, you’d think these folks make up a significant share of the population, both because they complain a lot and because they are typically the people who also don’t read.

But an updated snapshot by the United States Travel Associations of Internet users and those who travel at least 50 miles one way on trips includes some secondary research. It sheds some light on how large this group really is.

Approximately 168 million adults use the Internet now or about 74% as of November 2009. Of these, 72% or 122 million also take trips of 50 miles or more one way from home for purposes other than school or work. Clicking on the image above to enlarge it reveals that 16% of these people (1 and 1/2 people out of every 10) who both travel and go online, complain about feeling overloaded with information.

That’s not many for the fuss they make and the cost they run up in lost productivity because others must continually circle back to make sure they took in something that was circulated or to get them up to speed. In particular they slow the work of governing boards to a crawl.

And then if one of them happens to be a politician, well, all I can say is, oh boy!

Of course, who is to say the 46 million people who are online but don’t travel might not also be techno-curmudgeons or that the quarter of all adults who don’t access the Internet at all might not be techno-curmudgeons.

My guess though based on the size of this sample is that the 16% holds true for those groups as well. My philosophy is we need to stop coddling these people. Life is full of challenges and the least of our problems is “too” much information.

In today’s world, eagerness to access information should be a “must have” requirement to be elected to office or serve on governing boards of any type.

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