July 17, 2008

Worry time? Husband wants my online info

Did you hear that sinister laugh? That was my husband shortly after I said I didn't have many friends.

See, this is the guy who had two Facebook friends for the longest time and knows that I have a few hundred more there. He's kidded me about the iPhone glow that sometimes lights our house He's heard me typing to update my status at Twitter, leave a comment at FriendFeed or chat on GoogleTalk and AIM.

What I can't remember is if that friend conversation was before or after he asked for a list of all my online homes - with passwords. He says he wants the list so that when I die he can let folks know why I'm not posting anything.

He assures me there is no need for him to compile a similar list as I already have access to his online world - email accounts.

I knew I was different. The Pew Internet & American Life Project's typology quiz confirmed it by telling me I'm like only 8 percent of Americans in my use of technology. And even in that class, I'm untypical.

I'm an Omnivore, Pew says. That means I use a lot of online tools to do a lot of things. I blog, I make web pages and sites, I remix, I send text messages, I post my status, and belong to way too many social networking groups. (I said too many, not Pew.)

But I have been online for a long time - starting back in the days of gopher. I can date myself by naming my former Internet service providers, starting with a university-provided account and including names such as Prodigy and Compuserve.

i knew I was different at home. My husband and I use our computers differently.

He is more apt to be offline, using Quicken, Word, or Access. Online, he's tracking possible investments,reading the news at ABC.com or mlive.com or dealing with the health insurance PDFs and forms.

I'm more likely to communicating - Twitter, texting, or even old-fashioned email - and researching or exploring via friends' recommendations through Social Median or Toulu or FriendFeed.

Even in the non-normal group of information users, I'm unusual.I fit the norm of only one characteristic of an Omnivore, according to the Pew quiz - I am among the 64 percent who are white.

What I'm not - and most Omnivores are:

  • Male (70%).
  • Young. The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population.
  • A student. (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.

Take the quiz and find out what type of Internet user you are.

And, by the way, if you get a note from my husband in the next few days saying I'm dead consider asking for an investigation. My health isn't that bad and death isn't expected.


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