People of all ages are Internet connected. It's not true that young people are making better use of this technology than older people. Overall, public use of the Internet is poor, and I believe that's because people lack both confidence and skills. I can prove my case. Here is the email people GET. This is the mail people write. This is the membership of Social Networks. Even the watching of online video is low. Online most people DO, almost nothing. They pay $30 or more a month for a broadband connection they don't use.
People behave as though the original Web 1.0 Internet is all that's available to them. The Internet is supposed to be different, better than television, not because it's faster and flasher than television, because in that way television is much better. The Internet is better than television because it's NOT mindless. The Internet involves you with the subject at hand and with the other people interested in that topic. The Internet allows YOU to talk back and to get a response. This is an entirely different experience than being force fed both programme's and advertising on television.
Unlike TV, the Web 2.0 version of the Internet is a one to one, and a many to one, and a one to many, method of communicating. Information comes to you, and almost always you can respond in some way, putting your own ideas, thoughts and opinions into the information mix. The people doing this have a lot in common, so quite naturally they begin to think of themselves as a community.
First generation web, Web 1.0 we might call it, was like a brochure, you couldn't interact with it.
Web 2.0 involves two way communication and group interaction.
So there are five key things below, social networks, online collaboration, information filtering, content sharing, and open standards that allow applications to talk to each other. Web 2.0 connects you to other people and to what they are thinking.
Web 3.0? Not yet.
Sadly my research tells me that about 60% of the people on the Internet NEVER get involved in these activities. If you are one of those people this is an important issue which goes to the heart of who you are, and to who is the person you are becoming in the next ten years. I've noticed on Ryze how much regular contributors have changed over 5-6 years. People feel uncomfortable talking about this. It was never anyone's intention to "change myself". Most of us are quite happy the way we are. However, the process of reading and writing and talking to people is an educational one. Education, real education, not the sort of indoctrination you get in most schools or from television, is life changing.
When you engage in online networks, becoming both a reader and a publisher, you enter a process that will move your life in the direction of the things you choose to think about and talk about. I do understand the enormous courage that it takes to put your own view into a public forum for the first time. The first letter I wrote to a public forum sat on my computer for two days. I didn't have the courage to post it. I re-wrote it over and over. When I did send it off I checked my email every 2 hours for the next 24 hours, even getting up in the middle of the night. NOTHING. No thanks, no anger, no praise, no acknowledgement of any kind. I've since learned that my post might be important to ME, but it's of zero significance to others. I wasn't known to them. I wrote about New Zealand, and most of those who read it probably know nothing about NZ. Get things in perspective.
Prof. Graham Nuthall in extensive classroom research came to a significant conclusion. It didn't matter what teachers did or said, it didn't matter what media was used, it didn't matter who else did anything. What mattered and contributed to learning was what each child did, or did not do. That little bit of insight applies to you and I too.
How do you motivate yourself to do more of the things you should be doing, rather than collapsing in front of the TV set? The answer is very simple. Find something to do that's more interesting to do than watching television. No matter how interesting TV may seem, it slowly turns YOU off. You become a passive recipient of time filling trivia. You become as significant or as mindless as the programme's on offer. If better choices are available you should take those options. Your brain responds to what you feed it.
Once you discover groups of people who share your interests, or places where people you can relate too hang out, you'll soon find things to discuss with them. Breaking the ice is the hard thing.