Pew Internet Survey… Defining “reality” in 2020

The marvelous research folks at the Pew Internet Project are working with Elon University on a new survey of “Internet stakeholders” to see whether or not people agree with “recent statements by leaders in science, technology, business and politics” that Pew feels are “provacative.” The Pew email arrived yesterday.

In the survey, “Each scenario or set of scenarios is prefaced by an extremely brief explanation of the status in 2007 regarding the issues involved.” I’ve copied each of those for future reading.

For now, this seemed a good opportunity to report what these “leaders” believe are the trends most important to study as we move toward the target date of 2020.

• The mobile phone is the internet connection tool for most people in the world.
• Social tolerance has advanced significantly due in great part to the internet.
• Content control through copyright-protection technology dominates.
• Transparency heightens individual integrity and forgiveness.
• Many lives are touched by the use of augmented reality or spent interacting in artificial spaces.
• Talk and touch are common technology interfaces.
• Next-generation research will be used to improve the current internet; it won’t replace it.
• Few lines divide professional from personal time, and that’s OK.

What do you think?

I expect to be well retired by 2020. Many readers, on the other hand, will be at mid-career or a bit later and will have a more active interest in how these changes might impact their higher education marketing efforts. You may already be incorporating some of them into your long-range marketing plans. Or at least your occasional long-range thoughts.

The research report is promised in a few months. I’ll include that note in a blog posting or newsletter when it happens.

Until then, take advantage of the valuable information already available from Pew Internet research. The 5 latest research reports are at

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