PC News Archive

Internet Usage Drops 80%

April 1, 2005 – by Per Christensson

A recent study shows that after just 3 months into the year, the number of people using the Internet has dropped by a staggering 80 percent. While the number of Internet users has steadily increased over the past two decades, that trend has quickly reversed itself, according to the latest statistics. The numbers show that the Internet's popularity reached its peak in late 2004, but has just fallen off a cliff in 2005.

"The news is astonishing," said a market researcher from New York. "We just figured the Internet would keep growing and keep attracting more users. Apparently, we were wrong." A reporter from Seattle said she thought the growing trend of the Internet users would slow down, but not so drastically. "We saw signs of a slow down a few months ago," she said, "but nothing like this. No, not like this..."

While the significant drop in Internet usage comes as a shock to many, there are a number of people who don't seem to be surprised. Joe, a skateboarder from Minneapolis said, "I knew this whole Internet thing was just a fad. I don't understand why everybody made such a big deal out of it." Mark, a graduate student at Stanford University said, "Personally, I stopped using the Internet for research several years ago. It's just easier to go to the library and search through books on the shelf." Ashley, a high school cheerleader said, "I used to IM my friends all the time. But I missed talking to them, so now we get together and talk to each other in person. It's just, like, a lot more fun."

The news is already leading to major changes at some big companies. Bill Gates responded to the report saying, "This certainly means we need to shift our course at Microsoft. We are considering dropping the development of Internet Explorer, since it looks like there just won't be too much to explore in the coming years." He also noted that the company's next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn, would be delayed again by several years. Steve Jobs of Apple admitted the decline in Internet users would hurt sales from the iTunes Music Store, but he remained optimistic. "We are selling a ridiculous amount of iPods every day, so we're not too worried. The Internet was fun while it lasted, but we at Apple plan on innovating in other areas."

"Fun while it lasted." That seems to be the public's general consensus concerning the Internet. Yes, it was certainly one wild ride, but alas, all good things come to an end. At the current rate of decline, the number of Internet users is projected to be in the single digits by the end of the year. For most of us, it looks like it's back to the library and the post office.

Happy April Fools.

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