Shocker: People Use The Internet And Devices To Communicate

from the what-will-they-think-of-next? dept

How many times does this type of study need to be done? Despite the fact that the internet has always been a communications medium rather than a broadcast one (someone should remind the content companies), there are still those who somehow think that it’s “isolating” and takes people away from communities. So, here’s yet another study that tries to make it somehow “surprising” that people online stay in touch with a “wider assortment” of people and (oh my!) sometimes it even “encourages people to talk by phone or meet others in person.” The first link includes a quote from a book author who is “surprised” by this finding because anecdotally he’s heard of “people getting absorbed by a device.” Beyond the fact that anecdotal evidence isn’t worth very much, getting absorbed by the device has nothing to do with it. They could be communicating with plenty of people via the device… which is why they’re so absorbed by it.

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Comments on “Shocker: People Use The Internet And Devices To Communicate”

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Tech Support says:

Too much of a good thing

Yes, there are many anecdotes which are examples of how the internet has broadened our horizons. We cannot forget however that it can also be a way for people to never have to leave their house. The internet as we know it started first with basic communication capabilities. We then were able to buy some things. Now we are able to get anything we could ever need from the internet, including groceries and even a life partner. This suggests that we never have to get off our asses and do anything. Shall we say weight problems? Communication is never bad; we just have to learn moderation. Perhaps we should conduct a study to see how much the internet has contributed to our obesity epidemic.

Jon says:

Re: Too much of a good thing

You DO have to get off your ass to do some things. Unless you could find the life partner online that will come to your house with an additional laptop so you can both communicate with the rest of the world while being with each other…

it’d be pretty bad if it got down to that.

You still have to walk into the DMV if you want to get anything done relating to driving 😛

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Too much of a good thing

“Perhaps we should conduct a study to see how much the internet has contributed to our obesity epidemic.”

Why? There are so many overweight people in America (for instance) with substantial numbers that have predated the internet boom. Clearly a deeper social issue at hand. I personally don’t care about it very much since I actually exercise!

Tyshaun says:

Re: Re: Too much of a good thing

“personally don’t care about it very much since I actually exercise!”

I wonder if you realize that the obesity problem ends up hurting all of us. Insurance premuiums go up, more medicare withholding, getting really crunched in an airline seat (OK bad joke). The point is that obesity isn’t just an individual problem, we all get a piece of the misery.

As per the article, I agree with most of it although I do find myself wishing for the old days a bit. I do “keep in touch” with more people, but it seems like the quality of interaction isn’t as great. What I mean by that it seems that since communication and interaction speeds have increased so much it seems like people play a much higher premium on time than they used to. I can’t remember a group of friends got together and just hung out a bar, none of us really caring about time and not having our PDAs, cell phones, whatever there to remind us of time.

Maybe I’m being a bit or a revisionist romantic about “the good old days”

HMB says:

Re: Too much of a good thing

Nah. I work on the internet, spend an average of about 10 hours a day online, and yeah, I almost never leave my house. At the same time I work out 30 minutes every morning and am in extremely good shape and health. Weight problems come from a lot of different reasons but internet use and house-leaving have -nothing- to do with any of them.

Ted Smith (user link) says:

The Web: Working hard or hardly working?

CHICAGO, Jan. 25 (UPI) — Are you wasting time when online? Or working? A new study released this week showed that about 20 percent of government staff, while on the job, in one Malaysian state utilized the Internet for purely personal activities — like downloading porn, games and music. This was one of the main causes of poor work performance in the Johor state, Bernama, the state news agency there said, quoting a top government official, Norsiah Harun.

Experts tell United Press International’s The Web that the Internet productivity problem is global, and that cultural changes are needed to ensure that people are hard at work, rather than hardly working, as our parents’ generation used to say. By Gene Koprowski

Dan says:

No Subject Given

The internet is clearly isolating in every respect. True communication is never conducted via e-mail, IM, or any other internet based technological interface. The internet works as a very poor substitute for true human interaction. Anyone who uses the internet on a nearly constant basis (as I do) and at the same time is honest with themselves, will agree the internet has hampered and not furthered their social existence.

? says:

Re: No Subject Given

Speak for your self:

1. My entire life revolves around the internet. I sit in my home, fix computers, and communicate with clients, colleagues, friends and family. I HATE talking on the phone, and only do it when I have to.

2. At least one of my now closest friends I met over the internet. He is a very facinating and intelligent person who is always interesting to talk to. Our family’s get together on a regular basis. Chances are slim that I would have ever met him without the internet.

3. I communicate with two of my very best friends from HS on a very regular basis on the internet. Our worlds are very far apart, and communicating with them by phone would be very near impossable, not to mention letter. Email lets us continue daily discourse about the world, our families, and other generic conversation that would not happen if we had to write letters, or converse over the phone.

While there are people who use the internet to cut them selves off, and while there is plenty of sillyness on the net, there are those of use who find great use in it for professional and personal reasons.

Just becaue you can’t figure out how to use it that way doesn’t mean that somebody else can’t. And having said that, I’m sorry that the internet has “hampered and not furthered” your “social existence.” If that is something that is important to you, maybe you ought to consider a nother, more appropriate line of work?

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given


1.) If you had no friends before the Internet, you have no friends now.

2.) If your only vehicle for making new “friends” is the Internet and you only communicate with those “friends” is via the Internet, then you still have no friends. You are just a group of losers.

3.) If you feel alone and isolated now, you would have felt alone and isolated regardless of technology.

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