Why Americans Can't, Don't and Won't Read
• “Read it and gloat. Last week, researchers at Stanford University published a study showing that the most persistent multitaskers perform badly in a variety of tasks. They don't focus as well as non-multitaskers. They're more distractible. They're weaker at shifting from one task to another and at organizing information. They are, as a matter of fact, worse at multitasking than people who don't ordinarily multitask.”
—Ruth Pennebaker, The New York Times, August 30, 2009
Roadblock #4: The Glut of Prose
We are drowning in a tsunami of humanity screaming for our attention:
Ads are everywhere you look—on cars, jet plane fuselages, garbage trucks, golf carts, kids' report cards, over urinals, billboards, gas pumps, cellphones, sports uniforms, skywriting, plus, of course, on radio and TV as well as in newspapers, magazines and the Internet.
“Somewhere between 254 and 5,000 is a number that represents just how many commercial messages an average consumer gets each day.”
—Matthew Creamer, AdAge.com.
Internet (2009 Statistics):
234 million: The number of websites as of December 2009.
47 million: Added websites in 2009.
90 trillion: The number of e-mails sent on the Internet in 2009.
247 billion: Average number of e-mail messages per day.
1.4 billion: The number of e-mail users worldwide.
100 million: New e-mail users since the year before.
81%: The percentage of e-mails that were spam.
24%: Increase in spam since last year.
200 billion: The number of spam e-mails per day.
1.73 billion: Internet users worldwide (September 2009).
18%: Increase in Internet users since the previous year.
126 million: The number of blogs on the Internet
84%: Percent of social network sites with more women than men.
27.3 million: Number of tweets on Twitter per day (November, 2009)
57%: Percentage of Twitter’s user base located in the United States.
4.25 million: People following Twitter’s most followed user.
350 million: People on Facebook.
50%: Percentage of Facebook users that log in every day.
500,000: The number of active Facebook applications.