The Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society studies the social consequences of the Internet. In this report, the major conclusion I’ve seen the media promote is that time used to access the Internet has displaced time that used to be used to do other things like watch television. Although interesting, didn’t we know this already?
However, there are some other tidbits that I think are more interesting (based on an article in the New York Times):
- People are more inclined to communicate with family members using the telephone, not the Internet.
- 14 minutes per day are spent dealing with computer problems (10 workdays per year!).
- Women, on average, primarily use email, instant messaging and social networking
- Men, on average, primarily browse, reading discussion groups and participate in chat rooms.
- Younger people prefer more immediate forms of communication (instant messaging, text messaging); older people prefer email.