Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Jan 16 2004

He Said He Dug, She Said She Dug A Little Bit

I keep hearing about the studies the UCLA Center for Communication Policy released this week. Some reports focus on the "gender gap", while others tout the findings that indicate internet users are social, reading, non-TV-watching, non-geeks. I guess the study is interesting, as far as it goes. As for the "gender gap" issue--I'd be much more interested in seeing the different ways in which men and women use the internet. I think a lot of women use the internet as a social connection, in much the way they might use the phone to chat or to set up face-to-face lunch meetings. I still meet more men who use the internet as a way to research and buy products, gather and share technical and career information, and (let's tell the truth here) seek and share sexually-charged material. I'm speaking in generalities, of course. There are always exceptions.

I have noticed one other interesting sideline. I'm one of the few females in my social circle who spends many hours a week "online", and I find that most women I know who use the internet for looking up information on topics tend to give up much too easily. I don't know if this is an attention span issue, or impatience, or lack of knowledge in searching techniques. When I talk to the females who come to me for assistance in finding information they've failed to find online, I learn that their time spent searching has usually been very minimal, with only a surface amount of hunting. Men who ask me for assistance have usually done a fair amount of digging for the information first, often having exhausted most of the same resources I would have used in a concentrated search. Again, there are exceptions. But I have to say that the men I run across online are better about doing their homework in this particular area.

So maybe that old adage about men "not asking for directions" is true, but it may be true because men are much more likely to enjoy hanging in there and doing the active hunting and work it takes to find things. It may turn out that women prefer a quick fix with a minimum of field coverage. Whoever tackles that study will get some heated discussion going.

posted at: 09:10 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!