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Social Side-Effects Of Internet Use

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the vice-versa-too dept.

The Internet 476

venicebeach writes "The World Internet Project has released its third annual report on internet usage. It contains few surprises, but lots of interesing stats - for example the most experienced internet users spend an average of 15.8 hours online per week. CNN is running a story on the social findings - "New study shatters Internet 'geek' image." Apparently they are suprised to hear that internet users are more social than non-users: internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities."

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476 comments

I PLAY STAR WARS GALAXIE IN TEH NUDE!!~1` (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976505)

and i watch u when u come into teh coronet cantina!!!~ u think im afk lolol

Re:I PLAY STAR WARS GALAXIE IN TEH NUDE!!~1` (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976562)

How is this a troll? I'd say it certainly qualifies as a "Social Side-Effect Of Internet Use".

Re:I PLAY STAR WARS GALAXIE IN TEH NUDE!!~1` (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976712)

STAR WARS GALAXIE, what's it all about? Is it cool, or is it whack?

Re:I PLAY STAR WARS GALAXIE IN TEH NUDE!!~1` (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976757)

Trolling slashdot is the only social interaction I ever have. You guys are my lif!!!

f post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976511)

think i got it propz to the 209 crew

Re:f post (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976544)

i represent the 209 and since you failed it we just jumped you out which means we killed you and stole your bling.

word is bond

Less TV == more social (5, Insightful)

glinden (56181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976519)

Considering that the average American watches four hours of television per day [centredaily.com], I'm not sure the average person has much time left for socializing. Anything that reduces the amount of TV watched, including using the Internet, is likely to improve how social that person is.

Re:Less TV == more social (5, Insightful)

BlewScreen (159261) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976564)

I'm not sure how that makes your point. If you replace an hour of TV with an hour of the Internet, you haven't exactly gained time for social activities...

-bs

Re:Less TV == more social (3, Interesting)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976609)

Well, that depends on whether you count Internet chat-rooms/IM services as social activities. If you do, then it does increase the time, otherwise, you're right.

Re:Less TV == more social (0)

locutus_borg (36786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976628)

Simply interacting with a person over the net would be being more social, would it not? More so that watching TV in any case.

Re:Less TV == more social (5, Insightful)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976641)

For me, the internet is a primarily social entity. I use it to communicate and to talk to people, to speak my ideas and see others. My time online is far more social than an equal amount of time in front of the boob tube.

Re:Less TV == more social (4, Insightful)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976668)

Unless you are being social on the internet.

I organize lots of outings with my friends through e-mail. Isn't that being social?

Re:Less TV == more social (5, Insightful)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976731)

Except, I can surf when it's convenient to my social schedule. TV viewers are usually locked up from 7 to 11 in the evening. I think that's the most likely reason.

Re:Less TV == more social (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976741)

"I'm not sure how that makes your point. If you replace an hour of TV with an hour of the Internet, you haven't exactly gained time for social activities..."

You've gained intereaction with other people, which can lead to more social activity. Thanks to TiVo, we can still maintain our 4 hours a day of TV.

Re:Less TV == more social (3, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976592)

And considering the average family has 2.6 children i can't imagine how they have time for any of this nonsense, since I imagine the average medical bills to care for a 0.6 child must be astronomical, typically.

Re:Less TV == more social (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976764)


Move to Canada. Medical is free and taxes aren't as high as US media tells you.

Re:Less TV == more social (5, Insightful)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976640)

I can't imagine watching that much television. Now that I've finally gotten used to not watching it (for about three years now, with occasional watching when at other peoples' homes) I can't stand to watch the "evil box" for very long. Every time I sit in front of it for very long at all I become very conscious of the amount of time that I am wasting on it, time that could have been used doing so many much more constructive things. (Or just surfing the net)

Re:Less TV == more social (2)

spacecowboy420 (450426) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976767)

...and not looking at more advertising. I have become used to the process of using the internet. I do what I gotta do and I am in full control. On the tv, we are at the mercy of the broadcasters who decide to interupt their content with commercials and "Station Identification". Yes there is advertising on the net, but it doesn't force me to stop what I am doing and either leave or endure their plugs.

Re:Less TV == more social (4, Insightful)

photoblur (552862) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976734)

In the last few decades, TV became the common ground that brought much of our society together... disparate groups of people didn't have much in common, except TV. As TV began to model more and more content after our culture, we began to model our lives after what we saw on TV. Sooner or later we were bound to reach a point where life and TV were nearly interchangable... why go outside and meet people when you can just "meet" someone new on TV? And it's so much easier to "meet" someone that way.

Thankfully, the internet came along to provide a dissenting fracture to the TV as life/life as TV spiral. The internet encourages interaction between people. The internet makes diversity within society easier to accomplish, while at the same time providing a common ground that can bring people together. As the next step in our culture's social model, the internet is a positive step forward.

Re:Less TV == more social (4, Insightful)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976797)

Considering that the average American watches four hours of television per day

What's really crazy about those four hours is that 45 minutes of it is probably commercials!! I'm not sure if that's accurate or not, but the commercials are the entire reason why I don't watch television anymore (well, except for hockey games of course).

Increase my killing power, eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976520)

Let's do it.

Abhi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976524)

It certainly turned Abhi into a loser

FP of Washington University on teh spoke!!!!111ONE

15.8hrs/week! (5, Funny)

JohnGrahamCumming (684871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976532)

That's more like my daily Internet use :-)

I wonder what percentile the average /.er is in?

John.

Re:15.8hrs/week! (2, Interesting)

ndrw (205863) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976590)

I wonder if they count time at "work" in this average as well? I'd be up to around 10 hours a day if so, but less on weekends (when I'm doing all that "socializing").

I guess my average would be about 55 hours/week then. I bet there's people around here with a lot more though - and probably someone with more than 50 hours a week just on slashdot?!!

Re:15.8hrs/week! (2)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976622)

Only people who are able to be online more then /.ers are probally pr0n addicts. I wouldnt be supprised if some /.ers Are over 50 hours a week.

Re:15.8hrs/week! (1)

3dLuke (725468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976645)

well on average i spend about 10 hours a day on the internet so i guess that my usage is about 70hrs a week!

Re:15.8hrs/week! (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976680)

I wouldnt be supprised if some /.ers Are over 50 hours a week.
Raises hand meekly

Just Wait... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976642)

...till we get a colony on Venus. HEADLINE: STUDIES INDICATE THAT CITIZENS OF THE VENUS COLONY APLHA-1 SPEND, ON AVERAGE, 15 TIMES AS MUCH TIME ONLINE AS EARTHLINGS.

Re:15.8hrs/week! (4, Interesting)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976678)

Also, what quantifies "internet use"? For this study, I'm assuming that means time spent in front of a web browser. Does ssh'ing into a linux box halfway across the world count? What if it's across the same city? What if it's under my desk?

Does checking email count? What if I download my email and read it offline? What if I print out my email and then read it? (no, I don't do this, but I know execs that do)

What if I'm at my computer, playing nethack, but I'm signed into Trillian?

15.8 hours online per *week* ?? (4, Funny)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976534)

Amateurs! I know people who are on for longer than 15.8 hours per day!

Re:15.8 hours online per *week* ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976610)

If you count work I spend 8 + 4-6 hours online per day.
sick sick sick
-Scott

WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976539)

I spend approx. 6 hours in front of my computer after work. That's 42 hours/week.

I multitask between a TV-card window, IRC, web and xterms.

I bet this is yet another of those "if you drink more than 3 beers/day you're an alcoholic" crap studies.

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976664)

I bet this is yet another of those "if you drink more than 3 beers/day you're an alcoholic" crap studies.

If I drink more than 3 beers a day but *don't* go to meetings, am I still an alcoholic?

Re:WTF?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976695)

Well, that's the difference between an alcoholic and someone who's just having fun.

Alcoholics go to those stupid meetings.

interesting results... (5, Funny)

Schwartzboy (653985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976543)

internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities.

Next week, we'll hear that it's recently been discovered that internet users simply lie for the purposes of polls and statistics more than non-users do, and those that don't lie outright simply know how to crack the World Internet Project's records and alter their annual reports to be more favorable to the 'net-bound...

Re:interesting results... (5, Funny)

snarkh (118018) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976596)

Right. According to a new survey of internet users, more than 50% of the surveyed lie on their survey questions.

Re:interesting results... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976706)

internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities."
Here's the real reasons:
  1. watch less television because they're glued to their computers. cheating on their spouses, etc. no surprise there
  2. read more books because they're constantly going through all sorts of manuals, guides for idiots, dummies, etc trying to get their frigging computer to #%$@# work!
  3. more social because they're using the net to pretend they're 30 years younger/100 pounds lighter trying to find a "social" life

So how, exactly, was this news, or non-obvious?

Re:interesting results... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976730)

Well, and who's not to say that the results weren't just made up [sacbee.com] anyway? Why rely on lying survey participants, when you can just make up the numbers yourself? That saves everybody a lot of time...

Re:interesting results... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976765)

What counts as "more social"? If you have 80 people that you talk with on your contact list in your instant messaging client, does that count as much as social interactions with 80 people in real life? Or is there a certain ratio? I don't think that being social with 5 online people is equal to being social with 5 people in person.

I telecommute and never leave my house. I am online approximately 90 hours per week and not only do I have zero social interactions in real life, I almost never leave my house (once every two months I guess). The only social internet people i know are ones who are already social in real life and merely use the internet as a means to contact those real life people more. Plus, lots of people hook up locally through local chatrooms. It's nasty and gross, but they do.

We've learned nothing. (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976550)

The credibility of information published on the Internet also received a surprising boost.

Despite the existence of countless spoof Web sites and message boards that carry oddball political rants, more than half of Internet users surveyed said "most or all" of the information they find online is reliable and credible.


New medium, same gullibility.

A Stereotype isn't accurate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976556)

My worldview is shattered!

More social? That's understandable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976559)

...because when you spend 15.8 hours a week dodging The Hole [goatse.cx], you tend to want to leave the house more often!

How's this for a side-effect (5, Interesting)

sugapablo (600023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976561)

I got a wife and kid now. :) Met my wife on IRC 6 years ago. We now have our first kid and have been married 3.5 years. And I probably spend 10 hours a day online. :P

TV (4, Interesting)

jhines0042 (184217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976571)

I watch less than 1 hour of TV per week. Unless I or my wife are not feeling well. Then it goes up to an hour or two per day.

Most of the rest of the time we are working, sleeping, cleaning the house (laundry etc), hanging out with friends, reading books, watching movies, pusuing a hobby or playing games.

The Internet gives us the content we want, when we want it, where we want it. TV just can't do that.

Re:TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976662)

watching movies counts as watching tv.

if you are looking at the boob-toob then it counts as TV.

Unless you have a 35mm projector,screen and big cans of film laying around your house.

True... True (0)

locutus_borg (36786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976572)

I believe this to be true in MMORPGs. People seem to be more social, granted you have to sift through the... "1 4M L33T H4X0rZ!!!!! STFU n00b!!!!" types. If we could just to away with those people the internet would be a much better place.

Geeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976579)

Geeks run the Intarweb. Everyone else is a "user".

usage (0, Redundant)

3dLuke (725468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976580)

"15.8 hours online per week" I spend that amount of time a day reading slashdot!

Geeks are now networked recluses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976587)

Apparently they are suprised to hear that internet users are more social than non-users: internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities.

Hmmm. I guess computer geeks still sit in empty darkened rooms. It's just that they're in contact with hundreds of others while they're sitting there. Counterintuitive but makes sense.

Pretty cool.

Not surprised. (5, Interesting)

LowTolerance (301722) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976595)

I used to be an anti-social geek until I discovered the internet. Upon discovering how easy it is to communicate with people when not face to face, I learned to like people and interact with them. I was able to hide any apprehension, and by subverting this I gained real confidence in myself. This of course translated over well to the real world, and now I consider myself a people person. And no one thinks I am a geek. So this article comes as no surprise to me, and I'm sure that I'm not the only person in this boat.

Re:Not surprised. (5, Insightful)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976725)

I agree.

Although I consider my self to be fairly competent when it comes to conducting myself socially IRL, when it comes to meaningful discussions the net is the way to go - even when I am talking to people I know IRL.

From my observation, the biggest reason your confidence gets boosted when on the net is because you don't have to worry about the person's initial reaction - i.e. you don't see facial expressions, hand movements, etc. Thus, you are not continuously evaluating your "speech" to see if they care. That leaves a lot more room for confidence and attention to what you do mean to say.

Re:Not surprised. (2, Insightful)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976733)

Yeah, this roughly parallels my experiences. I had already run into a lot of the common pitfalls of the social experience, via flamewars and the like, by the time I was ready to interact with people. Most of the growth then required was personal growth, rather than interpersonal. Well, more of it than I would have thought, anyway. I wonder if this is the new generation of geekdom, some sort of change in the traditional isolation? Doesn't seem to help love lives much, but most of the geeks I know nowadays have fairly large social support networks, as opposed to my non-geek friends.

Re:Not surprised. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976803)

Interesting. *I* have found that internet people (the more social ones) tend to be sluttier, more promiscuous and more desperate. I'm an internet person but I would never want to build a friendship with someone I met first on the internet and I would ABSOLUTELY NEVER form a "relationship" with a woman that I first met online.

backwards? (2, Interesting)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976597)

So do internet users read more, or do readers watch less TV?

What a surprise. Some people want more intellectual stimulation than TV provides. Not that South Park and the Daily Show aren't intellectual, but they aren't exactly on the same level as Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

Re:backwards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976649)

Jared Diamond's "Guns, Germs, and Steel".

Well that depends on your perspective. Diamond is now a geography prof at UCLA and has the "hot" session at the AAG every year just on name alone. Unfortunately, his research is very euro-centric and a bit too "pop." The line to gut him in Q&A is out the door.

Re:backwards? (1)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976718)

euro-centric? Are we talking about the same book? The majority of the book talks about studies of the pacific islanders. If anything, he's trying hard *not* to be euro-centric.

Aware of Current Events (5, Interesting)

TekZen (611640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976606)

I would be really interested to see a study seeking to find a link between internet usage and awareness/involvement in current events.

Many of my friends who aren't on the internet very much are always asking me what's going on in the world. Though I am not sure if it is internet users or memigo [memigo.com] users.

-Jackson [jaxn.org]

Internet use is commonplace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976608)

Apparently they are suprised to hear that internet users are more social than non-users: internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities.

Ummm... duh? Internet users = people who have enough money to afford a computer and internet service. Internet is no longer some kind of geek activity, everyone uses it these days. It's no surprise.

Re:Internet use is commonplace (2, Interesting)

Llyr (561935) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976800)

Also, the use of the internet is causing all sort of people to identify themselves as "geeks" just due to their internet/chat use (it's finally cool to be a tech geek, so alll sorts of people call themselves one even when all they're doing is chatting and downloading files). This skews the statistics.

However, it should also come as no surprise that internet users read, and talk to each other.

Nothing to see here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976612)

Quick, slashdot them before the general public finds out that all of our geek stereotypes are false!

More social? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976613)

How does long internet use makes the user more social? On what? IRC chatting? I would only consider social activity as something physical or face to face, not just stting in front of computer typing away.

Education (1)

eille-la (600064) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976617)

If you think internet or anything cause bad social-side effects to society, you simply have to improve the education level about the "problems" in the schools, at every levels. It may not be easy, but why not fix the problem at its root? Lets adapt us to the changes.

Uh Oh... (4, Insightful)

Wheaty18 (465429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976619)

If the 'most experienced' internet users spend an average of 15.8 hours a week online, what the hell does that make me? (Most Experienced)?

But some conversations... (1)

HepCatA (313858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976620)

I don't watch much TV anymore, as I spend time on the net and watching DVDs. But it seems that worktime lunch conversations always start up about some TV show and how funny it was. Shows like ...shudder... Friends.

It's sort of fascinating to see everyone light up and talk about something familiar such as last night's TV programs...

Re:But some conversations... (1)

dustmote (572761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976811)

It's the great normalizer, or it used to be. Did you ever notice how the kids who didn't have TVs in their homes when they were growing up were socially out of touch with the other kids? Same with most of the homeschooled kids. I think television is pretty crappy entertainment for adults, but for kids I think it's part of what joins them together in a common culture. Up until very recently, it was this way for adults, too. Still is, in some circles. I still have those conversations at work, mind you, and I always wince when they come up.

is this so surprising? (4, Insightful)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976623)

Mostly this article just reinforces what I already knew about myself and my online associates. Honestly, the whole geek image has been one of stereotype since the beginning. Not everyone who uses computers and goes online frequently has thick glasses and no girlfriend, sitting around playing EverQuest all day. (This isn't an attack on EQ players, I am one.)

Most of my friends who can be found sitting behind their computer all day watch little to no television, and spend a great deal of their time reading (I personally find e-books easier to read than real books, and do so often.) I would say the internet is a far better medium to immerse yourself in than television or radio.

Re:is this so surprising? (1)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976845)

I personally find e-books easier to read than real books, and do so often.
Same here. I have a library on my hard drive, literally.

The only thing you have to watch out for is the eyes. Sometimes I'm forced to get off just because my eyes can't take it anymore.

But yeah, the main reason to get on the internet is information. Even people that start off as pure gamers eventually move on to being newsgroup/forum type people in some respect (i.e. slashdot).

Social side effects? Nothing more serious than a.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976627)

...craving for more cowbell.

I got the fever.

Walken

Teh Spoke.

Boo-yah.

Out.

Unreliable... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976636)

I would put to much into these results. A lot of Internet users are trolls, and I'm sure they are trolling the surveys as well.

Liars (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976647)

Who is really going to answer 'I sit unwashed in a darkened room masturbating and hitting refresh entirely too often.'

P.S. Reading books is not a social activity. What exactly are these unspecified 'social activities?' Is posting to message boards considered 'social.'

Social... (5, Funny)

MP3Chuck (652277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976654)

"internet users watch less television,"
Download the episodes...

"read more books"
And/or lots of Linux docs...

"and engage in more social activities"
Do LAN Parties count?

Sounds like a USA Today graphic (1)

AmosOtis (691403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976658)

What is the definition of a "the typical Internet user?" Seems like if they define it as people who have regular access to the 'net, then they're talking about people working in offices rather than, say, at McDonald's...

Of course they are more social (2, Interesting)

Savatte (111615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976661)

Everyone uses the internet. This includes both social and unsocial people. The internet has a much wider and broader appeal than say, reading books, which may not appeal as much to kids and teenages.

shouldn't be TOO surprising (4, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976672)

Unlike TV, you have to at least be able to READ to get much out of the Internet. :)

Whew!! (4, Funny)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976679)

the most experienced internet users spend an average of 15.8 hours online per week

I read "offline" the first time. I thought it was an okay average...

And actualy, I think the it's the time we spend offline that socialy affects us. I mean, how can your friends contact you if you're not on MSN??

In my case... (2, Insightful)

blixel (158224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976681)

Apparently they are suprised to hear that internet users are more social than non-users:

internet users watch less television
.. True

read more books ... True

and engage in more social activities. ... Definitely false. Unless IRC and Instant Messaging is now considered a social activity.

Re:In my case... (1)

mattdm (1931) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976812)

In what way are IRC and Instant Messaging *not* social activities? Unless you're spending all your time interacting with bots, I mean.

"Book-reading" social activity? (2, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976687)

I'm just curious -- unless you're, say, a parent reading to their child, how exactly is book reading a social activity?

Re:"Book-reading" social activity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976708)


> how exactly is book reading a social activity?

You do it while someone else holds your cock.

meh...I don't like the outside world... (4, Insightful)

greymond (539980) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976690)

I watch very little tv (no pre-set shows i watch/like)

I read books often (1 every month or so)

I only "go out" on weekends

I spend the majority of my time at work chatting online and surfing the net, then I come home and play FFXI.

Why should I go outside? I get hay fever or cold or could get in an accident. It's not warm enough to use the pool yet, and the jacuzzi is nice, but I get cold when I get out.

I think i'll just stay in and continue my life.

Extra extra! (1)

pogle (71293) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976717)

Net users aren't lusers! Multinational study confirms what most everyone already knows! Overrated geek stereotypes shattered! Everyone will forget this shortly however!

Frivolity aside, I am confused by the increase in 'trusted' content perception of most people surveyed...as the 'net has grown larger, most geeks trust less and less of the content, in my experience. The more that any old Joe is allowed to just throw online, the higher the signal to noise ratio goes...

90% of people masturbate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976724)

...and the other 10% are so busy masturbating to the internet that they couldn't be bothered to respond to the survey.

hmm, strange. (1)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976749)

If anything since I was first "online" in 1993-4. I've slowly become less social. Of course, aging from 18-28 can do that also I guess.

Anyone else think the internet in general has made them less social?

Internet TV Time (1)

rogabean (741411) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976775)

hmmm how do they figure in all the time I spend watching Internet TV stations while on the web? I may only watch 1 hour (or less) of regular TV every few days, but i easily log 25+ hours of Internet based TV a week. does that count as TV time or Internet time?

parameters? (1)

kobaque (597589) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976779)

I read through the article but didn't notice, Is this on personal time, or does this include all the salary time spent on sites like /. appearing to be the productive worker?

Side-Effects of Internet Use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976783)

34% of the survey respondent's palms were so hairy, the #2 pencils could not be properly gripped. Velcro pens were substituted in those cases.

I am not suprised (5, Interesting)

KD7JZ (161218) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976794)

This is the same effect that has been discussed here often. Heavy internet users are likely to be people who are interested in life. They want to learn, do new things, try new things, know how things work..

Dewey Defeats Everquest! (2, Funny)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976815)

Obviously if they can't interview evercrack addicts because they are stuck in a timesink, their opinions can't be included in any statistic.

correlation does not imply causality (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976824)

It merely suggests it. This is becoming an all-too-common scientific "proof" today. Just because 2 things occured at the same time doesn't mean that one caused the other. This is as ridiculuous as finding out that 30% of people who are depressed use social drugs to cope with their depression and then reporting that 30% of drug users are depressed. The misinformative part of this kind of reporting is in that the depression caused the drug use not the other way around.

How is this at all related to this article? It is entirely possible that people who are already social use Internet as a more effective way to communicate with people they would socialize with ragardless of whether the Internet was there or not.

News reporters (read communication: majors who couldn't hack a real degree) love these kinds of reports since "gluing" two types of events with a simple correlation statistic prevents them from having to actually research and try to understand what are the real roots of the problem/behavior/event that they are reporting on.

What about both? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7976841)

I wonder if they considered people who both surf the net and watch tv at the same time?

Is is adjusted for SES ? (5, Insightful)

rcastro0 (241450) | more than 10 years ago | (#7976848)

Apparently they are suprised to hear that internet users are more social than non-users: internet users watch less television, read more books and engage in more social activities.
This leads you to think that if you surf the internet you become more prone to social interactions and you read more books. However all of these things are probably related to something else.

The article is not clear about it, but I would guess they did not adjust for Socio-Economic Segments (SES). SES would reflect mainly an individual's income and education level.

Internet usage of course begun in the higher SES levels (having started mainly in the academic world) -- and has ever since penetrated more the top levels than the bottom ones (this has in turn given risen to the term digital divide [wikipedia.org]). On the other hand, guess which SES reads more books and has a richer social experience ?
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