Internet searches are quickly catching up with e-mail as consumers’ top online activity, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
The percentage of Internet users who perform online searches on a typical day has risen steadily from about one-third in 2002 to 49%, according the Pew report.
“With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of Internet users who use e-mail, arguably the Internet’s all-time killer app, on a typical day,” said the report.
Can you say: “bullsh*t?”
Though search may be catching up from a used-on-a-typical-day standpoint, the Pew report would be more accurate if it focused on people’s usage during a typical day.
Take AOL’s recent “E-mail Addiction Survey,” for example.
According to the world’s fastest-failing Internet service provider, 46% of e-mail users surveyed said they’re hooked on e-mail, up from 15% last year, and 51% said they check their e-mail four or more times a day, up from 45% in 2007.
Also, 20% of e-mail users said they check their e-mail more than 10 times a day, according to AOL.
Twenty three percent said they check e-mail as soon as they wake up, according to AOL.
Of those surveyed, 59% said they have checked e-mail in the bathroom—up from 53% last year—67% said they check e-mail in bed, 50% said they check e-mail while driving—up from 37% last year—and 38% said they check e-mail in business meetings. .
Can Google claim that kind of bathroom usage? Well, can it?
While the idea that digital material will replace all things print would seem to be a little overblown—I’ve always said that as long as there are men and bathrooms, there will always be printed reading material—the constant improvement of handheld devices certainly raises the stakes.
As more and more people are able to comfortably surf the Internet with their phones, it’s a safe bet the percentage of men heading into bathrooms with newspapers, magazines or books tucked under their arms will drop—particularly at work, where the printed matter is an advertisement to co-workers that we’re going in to do a fairly long No. 2.
As a result, I’d like to propose The E-Crapper Index. The idea behind this index is that as mobile devices become more mainstream, the percentage of people who say they’ve engaged in a specific Internet activity while on the pot is directly proportional to how integral it is to their lives.
While bathroom-media consumers may increasingly read articles and books on electronic devices while on the pot, it’s difficult to imagine online searching will ever overtake e-mail from an E-Crapper Index standpoint.