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  • Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:32am

    German people and the Internet

    I am an American expat living in Germany and I can confirm that the majority of German people have a very strange conception of the Internet, and Google in particular.

    The level of fear, uncertainty, and doubt is way above that of other European countries. I think it has to do with the German psyche to be very suspicious and cautious about the merits of technological progress.

    German people always look to an authority to do their thinking for them. In case of the Internet, there is a guy in Germany called Frank Schirrmacher, who is a newspaper publisher (sic!) and recently has written an awfully misguided book about the dangers of the Internet. It is called Payback and was a best-seller in Germany. In this book, he outs himself as completely clueless about the Internet (he spells tweets "Tweeds", for example), but that doesn't keep him from speaking like he was a pundit. As his motivation behind the book is clear - he is afraid to lose his newspaper, it even more irritating on how serious Germans take his inane writings.

    I can recommend a very funny and intelligently written satire on this exact topic on this great blog:

    http://www.ichwerdeeinberliner.com/25-the-internet

    It nicely summarized the historic perception of the Internet by German people.