The World is Connected by Email and Social Media
The concept of Six Degrees of Separation suggests that everyone in the planet is at most 6 'hops' from anyone else. The idea is not a new one, with Stanley Milgram coining the term after an experiment in the 1960's.
A new poll by Ipsos has revealed the extent of our new global connectivity. The poll, as reported by Reuters, reveals that 85% of people with an Internet connection use email regularly, whilst 62% interact with others via social media.
Interestingly social media was found to be more popular in countries such as Indonesia, Argentina and South Africa than it was in America, despite sites such as Facebook and Twitter originating in the United States. Only 61% of American Internet users interact via social media, compared to 80% of Indonesians. Japan was bottom of the pile though with a paltry 35% of their web users interacting on social media.
"Even though the number in the United States was 61 percent, the majority of Americans are using social media sites," said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs.
The fact that more than six in 10 people worldwide use social networks and forums, she added, suggests a transformation in how people communicate with each other.
"It is true interconnection and engagement with each other. It is not just about a message back and forth but building messages across communities and only the meaningful messages stick," she explained.
"It looks like a majority of the world is communicating this way," she said, adding the numbers were more than half in almost every country polled.
Email usage by contrast was found to be highest in Hungary, with a whopping 94% of Hungarian Internet users communicating via email. Similar numbers were found in Sweden, Argentina, Poland and Belgium.
Bottom of the email league table were Saudi Arabia, with just 46% penetration, with India next with 68% and Japan low again, this time with just 75% of web users communicating via email.
Although Americans and Japanese are thought to be very tech savvy, voice-over IP VOIP.L, audio conversations conducted via an Internet connection, were not very popular in both countries with less than 10 percent of people using the relatively new technology, compared to 36 percent in Russia, 32 percent in Turkey and 25 percent in India.
The full list of countries included in the study were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Britain, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United States.