At one point not so long ago, the Internet, with all its dark alleyways, and dead ends, was a place inhabited almost solely by men. Now it seems, the trend has changed, and the female of the species are the main users of the Web, In short, they’re taking over!
I remember a time not so long ago when the Internet was the domain of the male, with porn sites, and geekdom ruling the roost. Now, with the Internet having shifted towards being a more information based and social networking place, women are in the ascendancy, and men are no longer in control.
This isn’t limited to any one sector either, as women are now becoming the dominant sex in many different facets of online activity.
Social media is probably the biggest of these, with Times Online revealing a recent study by the Pew Internet Project in America which found that 35% of girls have blogs, compared with 20% of boys, while 32% of girls have their own websites, against 22% of boys.
The study found that social networking sites are also more popular with girls than boys. 70% of American females aged 15-17 had a profile page on MySpace, Bebo or Facebook, as opposed to 57% of boys of the same age. That’s quite a difference in numbers.
Communication seems to play a big part in what is being described as “the feminisation of the Internet”, with forums dedicated to girls, and women’s issues more heavily populated and posted on than similar ones for men.
This comes down to women’s inate need for gossip. And before you start with the hate comments, that’s not me saying that but Clover Reshad, a 12-year-old from the UK who surfs the Internet on a daily basis.
“Girls use the internet for gossiping and finding things out about friends and people you know. Boys use it more for useful things like games.”
So is this feminisation real or imagined? Certainly from my own experience, I see more women on the Internet now than 5 years ago, and in higher profile positions too. In my own field of freelance writing, I would say there are more women actively writing for online publications than men right now, and it’s a trend which looks set to continue.
You might be asking yourself, what does it matter? But as females gradually become the lifeblood of the Web, the Internet itself will change to accommodate the move. What this means for the future is open to interpretation, but I’d hazard a guess that the Internet is due to soon become a much more organised, and pleasant place to be. Oh and shopping sites will get a big boost too.