Internet Is Good for You


Don’t be afraid – the Internet really is good for you, according to 90 percent of all Americans.  The Pew Research Center has recently released their findings in a report entitled The Web at 25.

The innovation that brought the world closer together is celebrating 25 years, though there are many people who were just toddlers themselves when the Internet was in its infancy.  Conceived by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, the Internet has gone on to become a mainstay of society, integrated into smartphones and now more of a necessity than it was a luxury 25 years ago.

Berners-Lee first released a report in March 1989, detailing his vision of an information management system that ultimately became the beginnings of the infrastructure for the World Wide Web.  By Christmas Day, 1990, Berners-Lee released his code for free, which kicked off networks of people sharing information over what has become the Internet.  The World Wide Web turns 25 on March 12, 2014, which means there are those in North American society, at least, who were mere teens when the Internet first came out.

The study was undertaken by Pew Research Center as a way of paying homage to what the Internet has done and has become over the last quarter-century.  Just over 1,000 people were surveyed over the phone for this report, and phone calls for the survey went out January 9 to January 14, 2014.  The report was just released today.

According to the center’s study, 28 percent of those who still have a landline would be loath to give it up, unlike the 48 percent who said they did not think they could sacrifice their landline in 2006.  Three-quarters of those surveyed believe that people are mostly nice to each other when they venture online, and now, 58 percent of those surveyed own their own smartphone.  That is a 23 percent jump from when the question over smartphone use was asked in 2011.

46 percent of all adults now say that the Internet would be difficult for them to sacrifice.  It is incredible to believe exactly how vital the Internet has become over the last 25 years, to the extent that it may paralyze businesses and even those in the media should it ever go down.  In fact, there are many who deem the Internet as a necessary evil for job-related purposes; from the perspective of the general population, this boils down to 4 out of 10 people who say the Internet is essential to them, either for job-related or other business affairs.  This can only offer further proof that the Internet is truly good for you.

To be sure, the digital landscape has changed significantly since Berners-Lee first offered his insights into the potential for the information management system that ultimately became the World Wide Web.  In addition to simply sharing information across various platforms, North American society now actively banks online, makes a wide range of purchases, posts pictures and other information, and even makes video calls over the Internet.

Likely the most interesting result from the survey done by Pew Research Center is the news that most people believe that the Internet has helped strengthen their relationships over time.  Three times as many people viewed the Internet as a relationship builder rather than a relationship killer.

While some people believe there are those who use the powers of the Internet for evil, most believe that the Internet’s power has been harnessed for good.  It certainly has been a boon to the entertainment industry and to media as a whole.  After all, digitally based newspapers are peppered across the Internet landscape.

By Christina St-Jean


Pew Research Internet Project


WebPro News

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