Internet Geek Image Shattered by New Study! This sounds like a farcical headline ripped from the Onion, but in fact it’s Reuters response to the World Internet Project: a study which finds that, surprise surprise, surfers read and have social lives. To get the results, the WIP polled both Net-heads and Luddites from 14 countries. The study yields some mildly intriguing results: Swedes were the most skeptical of information attained on the Net, while South Koreans, the most trusting. More disturbingly, participants consider that most or all of the info they find online is credible. This despite the fact that only a small percentage of sites operate with more editorial restraint than the Weekly World News. But the most shocking finding, to me, is that people apparently still think that surfers are illiterate dweebs. Netizens have always and implicitly been avid readers, because, since the BBS days, they’ve been reading stuff off the Net. To still consider them geeks is as naive as labeling gamers pimply young boys.
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