This is a little cerebral reading – but some extremely interesting research results about the impact of the rapid growth of the internet since its invention and the attendant rise of mobile connectivity.
PEW RESEARCH CENTER
The overall verdict: The internet has been a plus for society and an especially good thing for individual users
The World Wide Web turned 25 on March 12, 2014. It is one of the most important and heavily-used parts of the network of computer networks that make up the internet. Indeed, the invention of the Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee was instrumental in turning the internet from a geeky data-transfer system embraced by specialists and a small number of enthusiasts into a mass-adopted technology easily used by hundreds of millions around the world.
In a new national survey to mark the 25th anniversary of the Web, Pew Research finds further confirmation of the incredible spread and impact of the internet:
Adoption: 87% of American adults now use the internet, with near-saturation usage among those living in households earning $75,000 or more (99%), young adults ages 18-29 (97%), and those with college degrees (97%). Fully 68% of adults connect to the internet with mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers.
The adoption of related technologies has also been extraordinary: Over the course of Pew Research Center polling, adult ownership of cell phones has risen from 53% in our first survey in 2000 to 90% now. Ownership of smartphones has grown from 35% when we first asked in 2011 to 58% now.
Impact: Asked for their overall judgment about the impact of the internet, toting up all the pluses and minuses of connected life, the public’s verdict is overwhelmingly positive:
- 90% of internet users say the internet has been a good thing for them personally and only 6% say it has been a bad thing, while 3% volunteer that it has been some of both.
- 76% of internet users say the internet has been a good thing for society, while 15% say it has been a bad thing and 8% say it has been equally good and bad.
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