File under: stats that cannot be true

Jupiter just published a report that says that 10% of US Net users delete the cookies on their web browser every day and 40% do it (in aggregate) every month.

Let’s do a reality check here. This is the same population that can’t get rid of pop ups, repeatedly falls for phishing of their Paypal and eBay accounts, still uses Internet Explorer, buys stuff from spammers, doesn’t know what RSS is and sends me notes every day that say, "what’s a blog?"

Forgive my skepticism, but it’s inconceivable to me that 40% of the audience knows how to use their browser to erase their cookies.

The echo chamber effect on the Net is stronger than it is anywhere in the world. Yes, professional women in New York think that lots of women keep their maiden name when they get married (it’s actually less than 5%). Yes, people who work out all the time figure that most people do (they don’t.). People who run wineries figure that lots of people care about wine (they don’t.) But on the Net it is at its worst. The heavy users figure that everyone understands what we understand. (They don’t.)

My favorite bit of proof: One of the top 100 things searched for on Yahoo! was "Yahoo". Also on the list when I was there: "web" and "search".

People aren’t stupid. They just are too busy or too distracted to care as much as you do about the stuff you care about.

Link: Study: Consumers Delete Cookies at Surprising Rate.