Internet Exerts Significant Influence on Users, Survey Says
Most Internet users in the United States say the Internet plays a significant role in their daily lives, according to a recent study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For example, 64 percent of Internet users say their daily routines and activities would be affected if they were not able to use the Internet.
Other key findings include:
l Eighty-eight percent of online Americans state the Internet has a role in their daily lives. Of those, one-third say it plays a major role, and two-thirds say it plays a minor role. The activities they report as most significant are communicating with family and friends and finding information relevant to their lives.
l Fifty-three percent of Internet users report that they do more of certain everyday activities simply because they can do them on the Internet. The most popular are communicating with family and friends and looking up information.
Still, while nearly all Internet users surf the Net to conduct some of their ordinary day-to-day activities online, most resort to the traditional offline ways of communicating, transacting affairs, getting information and entertaining themselves. For instance, they are more likely to do the following things offline than online: get news, play games, pay bills, send cards, look up phone numbers and addresses, buy tickets, check sports scores, listen to music, schedule appointments and communicate with friends, the survey reports.
“In just a few years, the Internet has made a strong mark on everyday life,” says Deborah Fallows, senior research fellow at Pew Internet Project and the author of the report. “Yet, it is mostly the case that Internet users lean heavily toward the offline alternative for accomplishing the key tasks of their lives.”
The single activity where Internet use outpaces the offline choice underscores the value of two important Internet advantages: its efficiency and a virtually limitless database. A full 87 percent of Internet users look for maps or driving directions online, and they choose the online mode over offline mode in every measure taken.
“Anyone who has used an application for finding driving directions online knows how superior that experience can be compared to the clumsy and time-consuming experience of finding and fumbling with maps,” notes Fallows.
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