Fascinating Facts Released To Mark The Internet's 25th Anniversary
The Internet is turning 25! Hard to believe that something most Americans now see as an essential component to everyday life is only 25 years old. But what's really interesting is Americans' relationship to the internet, and how it has changed in that quarter century. Pew Research just updated its long-running study of internet use, showing the massive reach of the Internet as a whole, but also how some 'staples' are more hyped than used.
According to the report, an average of 87 percent of American adults use the Internet. In 1995, when Pew began compiling data, only 14 percent of American adults were online. Further, 99 percent of households earning $75,000 or more and 97 percent of young adults (ages 18-29) were online. 97 percent of people with a college degree accessed the Internet and 68 percent claim to browse using a mobile device.
Breaking Up With Tech Is Hard (Or Surprisingly Easy) To Do
53 percent of Internet users said that the Internet would be hard to give up compared to 38 percent who said that in 2006. Pew also asked the 1,006 respondents the same question about related technologies.
49 percent of cell phone users couldn’t give up their phone compared to 43 percent in 2006. 35 percent won’t part with their TV—down from 44 percent in 2006.
Old-school phones saw a dramatic drop. Only 28 percent say that they couldn’t give up their landline versus 48 percent in 2006.
Maybe the most notable, only 10 percent of respondents said that they couldn’t live without social media.
The Internet's Good
67 percent of users believe that online communications have strengthened relationships with family and friends.
76 percent say that the Internet has been a positive for society as a whole, while 15 percent say it has harmed the world. The remaining eight percent have mixed feelings.
Finally, 70 percent of Internet users report being treated kindly online and 56 percent say they have witnessed online communities come together to solve a problem.
But what’s the bottom line? Has the Internet added to society overall or has it hurt more than helped? 90 percent of Internet users say it’s a positive addition to their life, while a mere six percent say it has detracted.
The bottom line: Americans’ relationship with cyberspace is mostly healthy, positive and rewarding. However, the study proves that while social media gets a lot of attention, it’s not as vital as everybody likes to believe.
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