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Why people like to share

April 21, 2011

In the first part of the last century (1900-1950) people fought for an 8 hour work day. Trusty Wikipedia has more:

“Although there were initial successes in achieving an eight-hour day in New Zealand and by the Australian labour movement for skilled workers in the 1840s and 1850s, most employed people had to wait to the early and mid twentieth century for the condition to be widely achieved through the industrialized world through legislative action.”

As you already know, the first world got the 8 hour work day. In practical terms, for the first time in human history, this meant people had 8 hours of free time (not including all the free time people had on the weekend). For the last 50 years of the last century, every country in the first world had the same stat: people gave many of those  hours to TV.

It is kind of baffling, but we all became consumers of content.Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an anti-TV rant. I’m watching TV right now as a write this. TV is in a golden era with so many good shows that my wife and I can’t decide what to watch next. But all that said, it is a little weird that we gave all this time to a medium that is all about consumption.

That is, until the computer came along. One of the first mass-produced content creators. Then along came the internet. In the first internet, there wasn’t much content creation because it still took a small team of creators. Then, in the last couple of years, there was an explosion of tools that allowed people to create and, and share.

TV viewing hasn’t gone down much, but even one hour a day means millions of hours a year. Think about the math: 120 million adult people who used to watch 4.8 hours a day. Even if they watch 0.5 less, that’s 60 million hours a day.

Multiply that by 365, and you have a seriously big number. Enough to do just about everything, including insure Rule 34.

That’s 60 million hours a day to create things. And that’s just in the US.

It is possible that people aren’t content consumers — but they are creators. All people. I think we all like to create, we all like to share, and we wall want to share. This blog, started almost 4 years ago is called “People like to share”.

What is means for all of us is they will share more and in more profound ways.

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