The phrase "The American Dream" wasn't actually used until 1931when James Truslow Adams used the expression in his book, The Epic of America. It's the idea that tomorrow will be better than today. An idea that always pulls us in.
A full exploration of that idea today can be found in The History of the American Dream (Is It Still Real). The piece talks about how "some dreams come true; some don't. Equality of outcome is not the same thing as equality of opportunity, and equality of opportunity is at the heart of the American vision."
That phrase, equality of opportunity, brought up recollections of What Technology Wants where Kevin Kelly concluded that the key thing about technology is that it creates opportunities for people to maximize their talent and potential in ways that weren't previously possible.
Which then prompted a quick look at where America currently stands in some common web and technology metrics and how each metric ranks when compared to other countries across the world...
But a list of such metrics in one place was proving difficult to find.
So after cobbling some stuff together, here it is:
• Web Penetration: 78% --> ranks 27th in the world
• Web Users: 245 million --> 2nd most in the world
• Facebook Penetration: 50% --> ranks 23rd in the world
• Facebook Users: 156 million --> most in the world
• Twitter Users: 110 million accounts --> most in the world
• Twitter Activity: 28% accounts are active --> ranks 4th in the world
• LinkedIn Users: 58 million --> most in the world
• Mobile 3G Subscribers: 208 million --> most in the world
• Mobile 3G Penetration: 64% --> ranks around 6th in the world
The pure volume of Americans with technology access is what always makes headlines and creates a feeling that "everyone" in the US is participating. But when put into context with other countries it's interesting to learn that US penetration numbers are notably lower down the list.
Image: Rob Green/Bergman Group