PIP_Future_of_Internet_ 2010_social_relations

PIP_Future_of_Internet_ 2010_social_relations - nextdecade,...

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1 The future of social relations The social benefits of internet use will far outweigh the negatives over the next decade, according to experts who responded to a survey about the future of the internet. They say this is because email, social networks, and other online tools offer ‘low friction’ opportunities to create, enhance, and rediscover social ties that make a difference in people’s lives. The internet lowers traditional communications constraints of cost, geography, and time; and it supports the type of open information sharing that brings people together. Janna Quitney Anderson, Elon University Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project July 2, 2010 Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project An initiative of the Pew Research Center 1615 L St., NW – Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20036 202 419 4500 | pewInternet.org This publication is part of a Pew Research Center series that captures people’s expectations for the future of the internet, in the process presenting a snapshot of current attitudes. Find out more at: http://www.pewInternet.org/topics/Future of the Internet.aspx and http://www.imaginingtheinternet.org .
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2 Overview While they acknowledge that use of the internet as a tool for communications can yield both positive and negative effects, a significant majority of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey say it improves social relations and will continue to do so through 2020. The highly engaged, diverse set of respondents to an online, opt in survey included 895 technology stakeholders and critics. The study was fielded by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center. Some 85% agreed with the statement: “In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the internet has mostly been a positive force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future.” Some 14% agreed with the opposite statement, which posited: “In 2020, when I look at the big picture and consider my personal friendships, marriage and other relationships, I see that the internet has mostly been a negative force on my social world. And this will only grow more true in the future.” Most of people who participated in the survey were effusive in their praise of the social connectivity already being leveraged globally online. They said humans’ use of the internet’s capabilities for communication – for creating, cultivating, and continuing social relationships – is undeniable. Many enthusiastically cited their personal experiences as examples, and several noted that they had met their spouse through internet borne interaction.
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