A researcher for Forrester says their new data reflects the growing sense among many consumers that being online is a "fluid concept." That is, many (especially younger) people no longer think of many of their online activities as "using the Internet."
"The Internet has become such a normal part of their lives that consumers don’t register that they are using the Internet when they’re on Facebook, for example. It’s only when they are actively doing a specific task, like search, that they consider this to be time that they’re spending online," writes the Forrester researcher, Gina Sverdlov.
Techdirt drives the point home further for media: "With online connectivity as the default for the media choices people make, it would be expected that people would be less likely to consider that 'online' behavior. As the rising generation grows up with such online-by-default choices, they will be even more likely to not consider it online activity."
Think about it: the experience of listening to Internet radio used to consist of "logging on, pointing browser to webcast site, clicking listen link." Now, it's more simply just launching an app -- as easy as "turning on a radio." You don't think about "going online" anymore, because it's in the background. If you needed to head out back and fire up the generator each time you wanted to use an electrical device in your home, you'd be far more conscious of "plugging in" than you are in the typical American 21st Century lifestyle.
Techdirt warns traditional media: "If your services do not take advantage of the connected devices the current and rising generation own and use, then you might find yourself out of business. We see this happening now. Despite what some legacy industries might believe or want, that decline in offline activity is not going to reverse itself. The more the legacy industries fight that shift in consumer behavior, the faster they will find themselves irrelevant. The best thing for these industries to do is to embrace that fluid online concept and capture the attention of the rising generation."
Read Techdirt here.