Americans Who Don’t Use The Internet and Other Fascinating News on the Web

September 25, 2013

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  1. Who’s Offline

    At this point the Internet seems pretty ubiquitous to most of us. But there are still more holdouts than you might imagine. Fifteen percent of American adults do not use the Internet. No web, no mobile apps, no online food ordering, no avoiding phone calls (or worse, face to face meetings) with a quick email. No texting or sexting or Snapchatting or Instagramming or Liking or Favoriting or Retweeting. No streaming movies, tv shows, or personalized music stations. No Gangnam Style. No Rickrolling. No experiencing major events via animated gifs or fake twerking videos. No ego-surfing. No oversharing. No being followed by advertisers. No Angry Birds. No quick, pithy, entertaining and hilarious looks at the day’s most fascinating news. No chance of going viral. And no cat videos. Believe it or not, fifteen percent of Americans missed the greatest Tweet of all time. About a third of those who never use the Internet “think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.” We all know a few of these people. And about half of them ask us to complete tasks or look up stuff for them on that Google thing. Before you run out and try to convince these folks to come join on the online universe, consider that you’ll likely be doing a whole lot of tech support from that point on. From PewInternet, here’s a detailed look at who’s not online and why.

  2. No Iran-U.S. Handshake

    “Maybe Another Time.” That was the headline on the front page of a newspaper in Tehran after the much-anticipated handshake between Presidents Obama and Rohani never materialized. From one person quoted in the article: “I know maybe it’s not possible that they shake hands, but I was disappointed that the two presidents didn’t even pass by each other in a corridor, or even smile at each other.”

    + Yesterday was not, however, a day without diplomatic progress. The new Iranian president did acknowledge that the Holocaust happened.

  3. Is Everybody a Winner?

    “When I left the house … I was a good mom … Just ten minutes later, I felt seriously derelict in my parenting duties.” As part of a continuing series on education from The Atlantic, Jessica Lahey reflects on a recent back-to-school night.

    + Do we reward, and award, kids too much? Ashley Merryman takes a look at the problems associated with the everyone gets a trophy mentality. (I’m not sure about this. I think most kids understand the difference between participation awards and being excellent in a sport or other activity.)

    + The Los Angeles School District handed out its first batch of iPads. It took students a week to hack the devices so they could surf the web, etc. In San Francisco, the kids could’ve done that in an hour. And the Dodgers suck.

  4. Ted Talks (and Talks and Talks)

    Ted Cruz spent a whopping 21 hours delivering his fake filibuster on the Senate floor. His lengthy address — intended to derail Obamacare and/or create a lot of buzz about Ted Cruz — included many pop culture references and a reading of Green Eggs and Ham. And, what is a haphazard Washington diatribe without a reckless comparison to Nazi Germany?

    + Part of Cruz’s efforts are aimed at creating the threat of a possible government shutdown. Here’s a look at every previous government shutdown, why they happened, and how they ended.

  5. No Comment

    Yesterday, Popular Science announced that they would no longer allow comments on their site. Why? Because they can be bad for science. As we all know, they can also just be plain bad.

    + Could the comment problem be fixed with a few design tweaks? If one of those tweaks is to cut the ethernet cables of most commenters, then yes.

    + Google is trying to stem the tide of nasty comments on YouTube — home of perhaps the worst comments on the web — by forcing commenters to have a Google+ account. (That seems a bit draconian.)

    + One high school football coach did a pretty good job of reacting to abusive web behavior by some of his players. He suspended the whole team.

  6. Earthquake Creates New Island

    A major earthquake in southwestern Pakistan killed hundreds, injured thousands, and was so strong that it created a new island.

  7. Does Virtual Nature Count?

    It’s no secret that getting out and experiencing nature is good for you in many ways. But is there a chance that experiencing nature virtually, via your computer or smart phone, might be almost as good? Aeon’s Sue Thomas: Can we get all the nature we need from the digital world?

  8. MacArthur Genius Awards

    Choreographer Kyle Abraham was on food stamps three years ago. Today, he is one of 24 recipients of the MacArthur Genius Awards and will receive $625,000 over the next five years. Here’s a look at the whole list.

  9. Kozmonots

    There was no company that was more emblematic of the first Internet boom and bust than Kozmo. It was like a dream. You’d be able to order munchies and movies that would then be delivered — occasionally through a smoke-filled doorway — by a bike messenger. And now there is word that Kozmo might be coming back. Slate’s Matthew Yglesias argues that the time for this is right. I doubt it’s the right time (Amazon will dominate same-day delivery and much of what we were ordering back then — including the really good stuff — is now available as a stream). I’ll settle for being left with the Kozmo messenger bag I bought on eBay and my fond (and a little foggy) memories.

    + From Mental Floss: The 25 most powerful websites.

    + These days, the most powerful Internet apps strive to get us together in real life. Check out the quite incredible Diner en Blanc. It’s not often you need a table for 4,000.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    A Dutch broadcaster is set to launch a new show where the winner will be launched into outer space. Bravo should consider incorporating this idea into the Real Housewives series.

    + Check out the awesome invitation to a party for Emmy losers thrown by Amy Poehler (9 time loser) and Jon Hamm (11 time loser).

    + Bono does a pretty good Bill Clinton (if Bill Clinton refused to ever take off his wraparound glasses).

    + And finally, Andrew Norcross, the excellent coder behind the new NextDraft platform, has served up a case study in which he explains how he built the whole thing on WordPress.