Find Out What Kind of Tech User You Are

You’ll notice my blog post title isn’t in the form of a question this time. It’s a little awkward, but the questions were getting tiring. Anyway . . .

I read an aritcle in Schumann and Thorson’s book Internet Advertising: Theory and Research by Rodgers, Cannon, and Moore (2007). They put Internet users into three categories: phobics, passionates, and pragmatics.

  • Phobics are the least experienced with computers, and use the Web less than anyone. They mainly use the Internet for e-mail.
  • Passionates are most experienced and are the most likely to use the Internet for researching, surfing, e-mailing, shopping, etc.
  • Pragmatics mainly use the Internet as a research tool and for school-type tasks They do the same things online as Passionates, but in more moderation.

My question is for how much longer will these categories apply? I mean, who’s really a phobic anymore? And what about my grandparents who are in their 90s and have never even been online? They’re just oblivious.

Then there’s the work of John Horrigan, associate director of research at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. He developed a way of classifying Internet users, dividing them by mobility, so you have those who only operate via desktop computer verses those who are supersavvy about mobile technology. Apparently 39 percent of Internet users are “motivated by mobility” while 61 percent remain in the “stationary media majority.” Take this survey and find out where you fall.

I’m an “ambivalent networker” but even after reading what that means I’m not sure I agree with the term “ambivalent.” That feels negative and I don’t feel negative about mobile tech. Maybe it’s because I can’t afford the data plans that accompany smartphones so I’m not as attached to my cell phone. There’s certainly a subtle difference between some of the categories. According to the information, mobile users are mostly male. I wonder if that’s because there are more men in the workplace where mobile technology is increasingly a job requirement with BlackBerrys and the like provided by employers. What do you think?

2 responses to “Find Out What Kind of Tech User You Are

  • Wendy

    It’s kind of strange that I fall into the “Passionate” category. I don’t FEEL passionate about technology, but I guess I am forced into using it frequently. I do use the internet for pleasure – shopping, Facebook, etc., and my Blackberry becomes my best friend in boring meetings or in traffic.

    I have posed the question of whether desktops/laptops will become obsolete giving way to a completely mobile universe. My question was prompted by an article I read where a professional went a week without her computer and relied solely on her smartphone. What will the generation of our grandchildre think we are oblivious of?


    • catherinelangford

      I heard about that smartphone lady. I can’t imagine relying on such a small keyboard to write more than a Tweet-length thing, but I’m also not a smartphone user. I can’t imagine what our grandchildren will have. It’s mind boggling to consider . . .

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