Monday, 11 July 2011

Spammed by thicky's

The title of this short article is perhaps a little harsh, but it is how I feel occasionally. It's not referring to the inappropriate marketing messages I get, it's actually about friends & acquaintances (as Google+ would refer to them).

It seems to me that (at a very high-level) there are broadly two camps of internet users in my extended friendship group. Those who use the internet, but aren't particularly computer literate or web savvy (some of these people actually wouldn't think of themselves in this way), and those who use it and are reasonably computer literate and web savvy. The former spam me a lot, the latter don't. Why?

The obvious reason isn't exactly a genius conclusion to arrive at, but it seems that those who have a little bit more knowledge and experience, use the internet and its various services more efficiently / effectively...
  • They only use it if it's going to make things easier / better.
  • They try to use as few communication / hosting options as possible e.g. I want to collect some information from a range of people, so I'm going to create a central repository for that information, which I will email people about, and then they can add their information to it.
  • They present the information / request very concisely and offer directions and instructions where needed. Perhaps demonstrating that they understand how people are typically helped and aided when online.
  • In their communications there are usually follow-up mechanisms which are equally as well thought through, and there is often a way of communicating back in a 1-2-1 interpersonal interaction if it was originally 1-to-many.
I understand that the differences in these two groups simply reflect the skills and knowledge of the individuals. However, I wonder if the more savvy group are going to increasingly find the modern world a far more simple place. Or if the less savvy group are likely to get the right feedback over the coming years and become far more effective online users. I suspect some will just become (more) disillusioned and frustrated.

Either way I think, like others I know, that this is another element of an increasingly polarised society where those who can move quickly and effectively online are [will] moving [move] away (in various terms) from those who are less able.

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