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  #1    
Old October 10th, 2012 (05:56 PM).
LividZephyr LividZephyr is offline
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I know the title may sound absurd, but I'm thinking that they indeed ARE.

By this statement, I'm asking if the use of portable electronic devices like Smartphones and tablets are merely there for the convenience of people to visit the places they already do, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and whatever boards they already post on - to the point of which they don't bother discovering new areas like they once did. They've routinely started visiting the same places until those places run dry, thus there are fewer successful places of the Internet, because many are withering and dying. There isn't much of an influx of new people, either, and that's because the younger folks who have Smartphones mainly use them for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and those things as opposed to finding new places to post to pass time.

So, I ask this. Are Smartphones partially the cause of this dropping activity outside of core sites? Are people reducing the places they go to because they can check their favorites in bed and they don't feel like getting online? Does a majority of younger people merely use Smartphones for social network checking and barely use the Internet for message boards at all?

I'm just curious, as this has been on my mind due to all the failing sites I've seen recently. I'm happy to be at an active place and I do hope I'm not cursed, but this is just intriguing stuff...
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Old October 10th, 2012 (08:42 PM).
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I feel like the internet is dying slowly, but didn't attribute it to people going only on social networking sites. That is a good point though, I was just thinking that people spend less "quality time" or "surfing time" in general since you can't really sit down and comfortably surf on your phone.
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Old October 10th, 2012 (08:52 PM).
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I don't think failing sites have to do with lazy consumers but more the amount of people that think running a site and getting people to visit it is an easy walk in the park. Honestly, what nerdy person raised online hasn't tried to make their own website before?

The internet population is still growing every day. In 2006, 18% of the world was on the internet. In 2011, 35% was. If the question is "why are forums becoming less active", it wouldn't have to do with the internet dying, just a shift in the interests of internet users. Boards were popular when the internet was invented but they have declined, because we want instant conversation instead of conversation dragged over several hours, waiting for someone to reply, etc. I don't believe it has to do with phones at all.
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Old October 10th, 2012 (09:02 PM).
LividZephyr LividZephyr is offline
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Quote originally posted by Toujours:
I don't think failing sites have to do with lazy consumers but more the amount of people that think running a site and getting people to visit it is an easy walk in the park. Honestly, what nerdy person raised online hasn't tried to make their own website before?

The internet population is still growing every day. In 2006, 18% of the world was on the internet. In 2011, 35% was. If the question is "why are forums becoming less active", it wouldn't have to do with the internet dying, just a shift in the interests of internet users. Boards were popular when the internet was invented but they have declined, because we want instant conversation instead of conversation dragged over several hours, waiting for someone to reply, etc. I don't believe it has to do with phones at all.
The rise of social networking, however, does have a lot to do with why boards are dying. Social networking has only become bigger due to smartphones, hasn't it?

I know there are a lot of lazy people out there, but in order to have a big site, you need to get your name out there. I did that, but it didn't work. I tried asking friends, but none of them found time. And that's why I've been theorizing. The rise of social networking, further spiked with phones, has dragged their attention away from where it once was.

At least that's what I'm getting at. I feel like the Internet is becoming smaller, at least in terms of scope - more users using fewer sites. Facebook is the culprit. The increase in users is due to social networking, and perhaps handiness via Smartphones.

Or maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.
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Old October 11th, 2012 (08:22 AM).
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I agree that people are spending more and more time on the same limited number of websites, but I don't understand the logic of attributing this to smartphones. Inversely I feel like smartphones could only remedy this issue - the more ways a person has to access the internet, the more time they spend on it and the more they discover on it. People checking their Facebook accounts while in bed because they can't be bothered to go to their laptop or whatever doesn't really do any further harm at all - it's not like if they could have been bothered to go to their laptop and check Facebook they'd have done anything different. It's just another device.

Quote originally posted by LividZephyr:
Does a majority of younger people merely use Smartphones for social network checking and barely use the Internet for message boards at all?
I don't remember where it was now but a while back, I saw a graph showing the breakdown of internet usage a few years ago compared to today. The use of message boards was never particularly significant so I wouldn't really expect younger people to use them with or without smartphones.

Also, why only the younger generation? The older generations don't tend to use the internet for a particularly broad spectrum of things either - most of them are related to work, news, etc. It's still the same situation just with different sites for a different demographic.
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Old October 11th, 2012 (09:24 AM).
LividZephyr LividZephyr is offline
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Quote originally posted by Razor Leaf:
Also, why only the younger generation? The older generations don't tend to use the internet for a particularly broad spectrum of things either - most of them are related to work, news, etc. It's still the same situation just with different sites for a different demographic.
The older generations - as in, middle-aged adults and beyond - have never really used the Internet to the same extent that we have in our growing up. By "younger generation" I mean those 13-18 right now. I think the total number of teenagers using the Internet for message boards is dropping, and it's because they spend so much time on Facebook and messaging with each other, as opposed to us having AIM and/or MSN and trying to fill up our buddy lists with people IRL and people online, too.

I think the circumstances in which they're growing up have severely limited which Internet sites are being used. Smartphones are one of the biggest things, since you really can only focus on one thing at a time there. I have nine tabs open right now. I can't do that on my Galaxy S1.
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Old October 11th, 2012 (09:43 AM).
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I think smart phones are just one aspect which includes the shift of the internet toward social media. People have low attention spans. Smartphones are just one piece of that need for instant gratification in the way it gives you an alert the moment someone posts to your facebook or whatever. Twitter is a fine example of this. 144 characters isn't enough space to say anything with much depth, but it's perfect for quick, easily digested nuggets of text. The growing number or people using the internet thanks to smart phones are the people who wouldn't have bothered before it became so easy. So the demographics of the internet are shifting to accommodate them.

But maybe all this instant gratification stuff is causing people to put less effort into their internet usage though. Why build a forum when facebook already exists?
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Old October 11th, 2012 (11:15 AM).
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I don't really know if Smartphones are killing the Internet as we know it. I guess that many more people are using their smartphones for social interacting via Facebook and Twitter. I think somebody already mentioned that in here.

And I think somebody already mentioned this as well, but people get bored with certain things and go to newer sites or just stick with the Facebook/Twitter/Youtube comfort zone. Forums are pretty much a dinosaur these days, but Pokemon forums will probably survive for many more years.

I don't own a smartphone like an iPhone. The phone, the contract and the data plans are way too costly for my and my Mom, so I don't think we'll be going down the smartphone route anytime soon.
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