News flash: Americans tend to be idiots about a lot of stuff — global warming, vaccines, not standing on the left side of the goddamn escalator. The latest thing about which a surprising number of us are idiots is on what familiar internet terms mean. Because many Americans are old.


According to recent research, a full 11% of Americans believe that HTTP (or hyper text transfer protocol *pushes glasses up nose*) is not a programming language, it's a sexually transmitted disease. A full 77% of people do not know what SEO stands for. Some of this can be explained by the fact that many members of The Greatest Generation never had occasion to learn how to do stuff like "turn on a computer." In fact, when I worked for a brokerage firm, I'd routinely get asked by men in their 50's and 60's to help them "download their email." Formative years that occurred during different eras would understandably cultivate different skill and knowledge sets. Fine.

But here's one tidbit that's strange: almost 1 in 4 American adults thought that an MP3 was a Star Wars character (If you know what fucking Star Wars is, how do you not know what an MP3 is?!?! I'm so confused.) And 12% said they believe that USB is a country in Europe. That just seems... very strange. Maybe people participating in the survey thought they were performing a screen test for the now-defunct Tonight Show bit where Jay Leno proves that people who live in California are too happy to care about knowing stuff.