Posted on August 3, 2011 by Jennifer Pointer

Techies the world over are gloating this week about a study out of British Columbia, which seems to "prove" what they have all believed for many years - that they (the techies) are smarter for using alternate browsers like Firefox or Opera, than the rest of us for using Internet Explorer.  In the very small study, the Internet Explorer users had the lowest IQ; Chrome, Firefox and Safari users had slightly above average IQ, and Camino, Opera and Internet Explorer with Chrome Frame users were the MENSA candidates.  I don't even understand what that last part means, so I'm clearly not going to be invited to their genius club.


I've used most of the alternate browsers at one time or another, but I use Internet Explorer pretty often, too.  Firefox is my favorite, and I'm not exactly stupid.  But I don't care what they think.  So there.


Most of the world is on Internet Explorer.  Anyone who wants to make a program available to the masses needs to make sure it works in Internet Explorer.  So any of those software developers who claim they don't use Internet Explorer might be fudging the truth a little. It is probably true that Internet Explorer is not their favorite browser, but I assure you they probably have it on all of their computers.


The conclusion by the researchers who conducted the study that has cause the uproar is that more intelligent people also tend to be early adopters of new technology.  That's probably true.  But it is a stretch to further conclude (as many of the techie bloggers have) that Internet Explorer users are dumb.  Many places of business use one browser on their internal networks (usually Internet Explorer), so people who work for those companies have no choice but to use that browser for work.   Because they use that browser all day long, they are simply more comfortable with it, and choose to use the familiar browser at home as well. 


I cannot tell you how many times I have sat and listened to a group of computer geniuses complain about this program or that app that won't work properly on their "special" browser.  Sigh.  Well, you know what they say - it's lonely at the top.  Apparently that is also true of the technically intellectual elite. 


So I say let them have their study.  Let them celebrate this small validation of their theory that they are far superior to us common folk.  The rest of us will just occupy our average little minds with actually enjoying the internet, instead of focusing on making the browser work the way we want it to.

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