If you are reading this then you probably use the internet a fair bit (or perhaps nearly all day, everyday). But, not everyone is as tech savvy as you!  Did you know that some people don’t know the difference between the internet and the WWW? Some even don’t know what WWW stands for.

For example, I am a teacher part-time, and when I asked some of my students what WWW stood for, they couldn’t decide whether it was the What Where and When or the Who, Why and Wow, although we are talking a few years back now.  Other things they were unable to answer was the meaning of spam (Sending Particularly Annoying Messages), that there are 1 million bytes in a megabyte or that if you have 1000 megabytes it gives you … a gigabyte. In fact, some of them didn’t even know the meaning of snail-mail. Fancy that.

So, how tech savvy are you?

It was around 20 years after the first connection of the internet that Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web.  There’s the answer to one of the questions you might have just had!  It’s amazing to think that we have had 25 years of the WWW, although this fact leaves some of us feeling quite old.

So, in celebration of 25 years of the WWW, the Pew Internet research team decided to look at the ‘Web IQ‘ of the Americans they surveyed.  The questionnaire asked about lots of internet facts, such as: things about common platforms, which is the larger, a megabyte or a kilobyte and what’s a hashtag.  

Seemingly the more tech savvy of the bunch were the only ones who could remember Mosaic or who knew who Sheryl Sandberg was.  Of course, many people could recognise the more familiar tech giants of Facebook or Microsoft.

Age makes little difference in knowledge

For some of the questions (such as the meaning of ‘net neutrality’ and ‘privacy policy’), there was a similar level of understanding of the terms at all ages groups questioned. However, for other questions such as identifying things such as ‘captcha’ or ‘advanced search,’  the 18-29 year olds fared better.

The quiz required some level of previous internet and email use

The sample of 1066 people questioned in the online survey were required to use the internet and email at least moderately to be able to take part.  Also, as they completed the questionnaire online, this indicates that there was a good level of online use already.  However, it was still college graduates who had the most knowledge about the internet and WWW overall.

How do you think you would fare?  You can take the test on their website to find out.