Sunday, August 22, 2010

Online Connections Do Not Replace True Friendships

It has been a long while since I read sociologist Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone. At the time, I was an international student facing her first year in college and quite frankly, I did feel alone. Coming from a more communal culture, I felt that I had no hope in a country where the norm was isolation in suburbs and moving away from families for work or school. Over the years I built some wonderful friendships, but I still wonder what my life then would have been like if I had Facebook and continuous access to updates from 400+ connections I have on this site.

According to CafeMom's Mom Index (TM), things may not have been much different, despite the Internet. This study states that moms have an average of two true friends. Forget all the social networking, conversing online and participating in online chats. Moms are pretty isolated in their daily grind of work and family time. This finding is echoed by work published in the American Sociological Review, which states that the average American has only two close friends and a quarter do not have any. 

In other words, boasting hundreds of online connections may not mean that we are in touch with them or engaged in what they have to say. Technology helps spread word faster but does not replace the human factor. 

Posted via email from dotwom's posterous

Sunday, August 8, 2010

WWW Now Stands for World Women Web

10 years ago, I was perplexed by the discrepancy between women's purchasing power and their hesitation to buy online. I ran a fancy regression analysis and discovered that privacy concerns were the leading barriers to women coming on board full force. As confirmed by a recent report from comScore, Women on the Web, this issue is far behind. According to comScore, U.S. online women are the key drivers of Web purchases. They make more transactions online and they spend more than men. In fact, they are responsible for 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. 

Globally, women are slightly less likely than men to be online (46 percent vs. 54 percent). However once women go online, they are more connected than men. Across Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, women spend more time than men on social networking, emailing and sending IM messages. Health, apparel and family/parenting sites have the widest reach among women worldwide.

The study also offers insights on smartphone usage in the US and in Europe. As of April 2010, men are more likely than women to use smartphones in the US (60 percent vs. 40 percent) and in Europe (63 percent vs 37 percent). Yet it's important to note that women are taking to social networking apps on their smartphones. If their PC networking habits are any indication, as smartphone usage becomes mainstream, women will shape this medium as well. 

To download the full comScore study, please click here

Posted via email from dotwom's posterous