Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

How we know that multitasking is out of control

Posted by Richard Koman - April 19, 2005

Loo Laptop.jpgYahoo and Mediaedge:cia are releasing a study today about the "media meshing" trend they discovered in a study of broadband Internet users. The real story, however, is not the impact for major media but this stunning piece of social anthropology, which we flushed out by reading to the bottom of the press release.

... A surprising 21 percent use their wireless access in the bathroom. No matter the location, study participants agree that this freedom of choice is resulting in even more integrated experiences.

Now that the truth is out, let's have a little poll. Have you ever gone online on the throne? Post a comment here. (I'll be the first to admit it.)

In other findings, the Internet is becoming a sort of media glue, the study found.

More than half of broadband users are using the net and offline media together -- often at the same time. People are in front of the computer, while watching TV, reading the paper or listening to radio.

The study terms this trend "media meshing," and it suggests that old media don't necessarily have to fear uptake of the Internet. Rather they should find ways to exploit consumers' willingness to go online to supplement their offline experiences.

The "It's a Broadband Life" study found that 64 percent of broadband users also use some form of traditional media while actively online, compared to 57 percent of dial-up users. The number jumps to 71 percent for wireless broadband users.
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