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The Internet Education

Internet Users Are More Social Than Non-Users 196

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the news-to-me dept.
FePe writes "The UCLA World Internet Project has concluded from a study that Internet users spend more time on social activites than non-users. Many other interesting facts can be seen on the page. For example, in the United States 73.1 percent of men use the Internet compared to 69 percent of woman." Also interesting is how net users watch less television than their offline counterparts. Update: 01/16 03:46 GMT by M : Yep, pretty much the same story as yesterday. To be fair, Cowboyneal did say it was news to him. :)
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Internet Users Are More Social Than Non-Users

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  • Oh my (Score:3, Funny)

    by iswm (727826) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:29PM (#7994400) Homepage
    How delightfully ironic.
    • Re:Oh my (Score:2, Funny)

      by maladroit (71511)
      from the news-to-me dept.

      Gotta love it ....

      • Re:Oh my (Score:5, Funny)

        by 1u3hr (530656) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:55PM (#7994661)
        from the news-to-me dept.

        Perhaps if he'd read the story when it was posted yesterday it wouldn't be.

    • by mwood (25379)
      Hoho. Of course *we* all knew that, but now it's been blessed by science. Good news.

      How many conversations have *you* had, or how many alarmist articles have you read, which basically boiled down to, "how can you spend hours playing with that email stuff instead of interacting with *people*?" :-O It's like there's a sizable group of humans with a cognitive deficit which leaves them incapable of believing in the reality of anyone not physically present. Scary.
  • DUPE! (Score:4, Informative)

    by herrvinny (698679) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:30PM (#7994404)
    DUPE DUPE DUPE. [slashdot.org]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Its because of the online dating sites, obviously.
  • Social user here! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by meta-monkey (321000) *
    As a matter of fact, I'm such a social Internet user, that ten minutes I emailed cowboy neal to tell him that this story is a dupe [slashdot.org]! Of course it somehow made it out of the Mysterious Future anyway. Great job, Cowboy Neal!!
    • The link says something like "See any serious problems with this story? Email our on duty editor." Apparently they have a different idea of "serious problem". That, or the story queue is like the bases on Alien(s?). There's a time limit, after which you can't cancel the story.
  • 'course! (Score:5, Funny)

    by pumpknhd (575415) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:31PM (#7994423)
    What are they thinking? That we just sit around and read /. all day?
  • And they do often copy themself because it is so easy to do online

  • Then you might spot the dupes before they happen!
    Or get enough friends to back you up when you dupe!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#7994434)
    ...than non-internet users [slashdot.org]...
  • Of Course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpiritualRemains (235040) <webmaster@OOOspi ... minus threevowel> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#7994440) Homepage
    Of course there's more men on the internet than women. There's more male oriented porn than female oriented porn out there.

    SR.
    • I just heard NPR reporting on this UCLA study tonight. (Ha! Slashdot beat NPR by a day!) The researchers they interviewed took an interesting look at the results; by focusing on cross-cultural similarities, they found that almost everywhere there was a gender gap, 8% on average, in favor of men using the Internet. What that has to say about a patriarchal technological world and the increased male access to or fascination with technology, we should leave to the radical feminists - but it was a remarkable res

    • maybe because more men life pr0n, myself included.

      I've only met a couple of women EVER that were into pr0n, well, actual women, not those "online women" ::cough::nerds faking it::cough::
  • ha ha (Score:3, Funny)

    by wwest4 (183559) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#7994441)
    news-to-me dept.

    holy double entendre batman.
  • w417.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Deraj DeZine (726641) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:32PM (#7994442)
    Social != Taking showers
  • by BoldAC (735721) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:33PM (#7994443)
    Like we come here for the articles?!?!

    We all come here to socialize and share ideas.

    Yes, even the trolls.

    This is social.

    Sure I go out with friends and family several times per week... but this is a form of socialization as well.

    We all need a little geek "fix" every once in a while.

    No shock here.

    AC
    • by asparagus (29121) <koonce@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @11:14PM (#7994824) Homepage Journal
      That's just how it started...I needed a little 'geek' fix now and then. And then a little became more and more, till now a little ain't a little no mo'.

      But it's all good. My friend Randy says he's going to show me something called 'crack'. He says it's a thousand times better than the internet. I told him he's never visited stileproject [stileproject.com]. I'll be back soon with the results.
    • I sometimes come here for the articles... but also, as you rightly mentioned, for the conversation.

      Seriously... if you can sort the wheat from the chaff, you can learn things here. Even as a terminally-degreed professional, I find this website valuable (I also double-check facts to be sure they're not BS). The level of expertise of the people that regularly read and participate here is substantial (and the trolls simply make for cheap, lowbrow entertainment... thanks guys!).

      Believe it or not, you can al
  • by Triumph The Insult C (586706) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:33PM (#7994444) Homepage Journal
    i am an internet user and i am not social

    so, that study is wrong

    slashdot editors, please remove that misleading title. it might make people think this is a reliable source of info
  • by Ignorant Aardvark (632408) <cydeweys@noSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:33PM (#7994447) Homepage Journal
    Online people may spend more overall time in "social activities" - but a lot of these social activities probably don't really count. Is someone who spends 6 hours a week in a chat room socially better off than someone who spends 5 hours a week hanging out with friends at a mall?

    Another point to mention: I watch TV at least as many hours as I am on my computer. Why? All of the rooms that I have computers in also have TVs in them, and I always have a TV on in the background when I'm on the computer.
    • Is someone who spends 6 hours a week in a chat room socially better off than someone who spends 5 hours a week hanging out with friends at a mall?

      I work on a computer most of the day; as luck would have it, I can sit on IRC at the same time and talk to most of my friends. I can feed my desire for meaningless chatter, intelligent conversation, gain sympathy and respect, get support when I'm feeling down, share (often deeply personal) problems and do the same for others. Much of this in time where other fo

      • I work on a computer most of the day; as luck would have it, I can sit on IRC at the same time

        Does your boss know? :-)

        I'd worry about your productivity!

        • I work on a computer most of the day; as luck would have it, I can sit on IRC at the same time

          Does your boss know? :-)

          I think so.

          *waves to him across the IRC channel*

          (well, he's not really my boss, but he's the closest thing I have ;)
          I'd worry about your productivity!

          You know what they say; you don't miss what you've never had ;)
    • Online people may spend more overall time in "social activities" - but a lot of these social activities probably don't really count... It would appear, perhaps due to some insecurity in my brain, that you are implying that one form of socializing is better than another, I guess the implication being chat rooms are inferior than malls.

      As a married person, I am often compelled to leave my dungeon to socialize with our friends. Usually one of these destinations are chosen: movies, bowling (yeah really), lo

    • "Online people may spend more overall time in "social activities" - but a lot of these social activities probably don't really count. Is someone who spends 6 hours a week in a chat room socially better off than someone who spends 5 hours a week hanging out with friends at a mall?"

      um yes, yes they are. Do you live in suburbia or something? who hangs out at malls?!? you like rampent consumerism, advertising, unwashed masses and zombies?

      "Another point to mention: I watch TV at least as many hours as I am o
    • I'd have to guess that people who are hooked on MMOs probably account for contributing a lot to these kind of statistics. Instead of going home and watching TV, they get right online and spend the next 8+ hours socializing

      That's got to add a little bit to the numbers... =D
  • dupe checker (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Kilka (694154)
    So why isn't there an automatic dupe checker in the ./ engine ? Anybody know ?

    Kilka
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:33PM (#7994449)
    If slashdot "subscribers" get to see the stuff before the fact, why not let them vote a story a dupe BEFORE it's posted to the site?

    I mean, it could just be a delay of 30 seconds for each vote until a certain threshold is reached, but christ! It's almost as bad as the trolls sometimes.

    My .02

    ~ Eric
    • I was thinking, duplicate stories often have the same links to websites, quotes from people, etc..., so couldn't someone write a patch to slashcode that searches the previous N articles for similar links or strings of words (much like is done with plagiarism catchers)?

      It seems that that would at least pull up a list of similar stories and the admin could look at them and say "Yeah, this is a dupe, I see the other story right here, from 2 days ago," and hit "cancel".

      Just a thought.

      Oh, and a note for peopl
  • by the_2nd_coming (444906) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:34PM (#7994457) Homepage
    (geeks are internet users)=> (internet users are super social) => (geeks are the most internet savy) => (Geeks are Socialite GODS)
  • by fuzzbot77 (611247) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:35PM (#7994474) Homepage
    It is true... We have got so much more communication of course.. We can talk VoIP/IRC IM email to our hearts content. If anything computers / internet has made it cheaper to communicate with people we would not normaly communicate with. Only for the cost of ISP charges.. which usualy works out cheaper than dialing up some one on your home phone. Is this story a suprize. Not for those of us that are used to it.. Its the uneducated general public that have been misinformed that believe that computers cause you to be anti-social.. Well thats my 2 cents.. I am sure there will be people that dissagree
  • 73.1 percent of men use the Internet compared to 69 percent of woman.

    What, has some magician sawed this poor woman into pieces, and failed to reattach 31% of her? And, while he desperately Reads The FM on how to complete the trick, she surfs the 'net?

  • by senatorpjt (709879) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:37PM (#7994487)
    Remember, they're talking about the 73% of the population that sends email around, they're not talking about the hardcore geek population. I don't even think these people should be counted as "internet users" any more than you would call someone who pumps their own gas an auto mechanic.

    • You're using "users" in the "crack users" sense, yes?
    • Are they saying that 73% of the entire male population uses the internet? That number seems quite high to me, especially with a large aging population that probably doesn't used the internet. Is there some age category for this I'm missing?
  • It's a dupe (Score:1, Redundant)

    So there's two stories about some bore ass study but not one story about the fact that goatse.cx has been censored. What the fuck? I know there have to be about 300,000 submissions about the goatse story too. Are the editors in denial of goatse man? He's just a guy with a big anus. You get over seeing it pretty soon.

    Tim
  • I'm surprised that this number is so close. I've been told time and time again that men like computers and women don't and yet this study has internet usage almost equal and i'm sure the 4 points is within the margin of error in the poll. Maybe geeks won't be alone for too much longer. Then again who am i kidding.
  • People must read a lot more than I do to so quickly recognize a dupe.

    I would say most of the internet users (sic) I know are pretty social. It IS a means of communication isn't it.
  • posting a response mean that i am being social according to their standards?
  • still.

    Stay tuned to Slashdot for continued coverage on how sociable internet users are.

    Ben
  • by Fortunato_NC (736786) <verlinh75@msn.TOKYOcom minus city> on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:39PM (#7994508) Homepage Journal
    I mean besides boring others and fragmenting discussion, thus depriving some of potentially critical insights. Other than that, there is nothing wrong with dupes! And even better, it gives us a second chance for First Post!

    But seriously - I think this study is one of those self fufilling prophecies - some geek whose friends told him he spends too much time online was like, "I'll show THEM!" Then he designs a protocol and a study, and lo and behold, but frequent Internet Users are actually MORE social!

    Or, it could be that Internet Users (on average):

    1. Have more income than non-users.
    2. Have a better education than non-users.
    3. Have more leisure time than non-users.

    All of these things contribute seriously to "being social." After all, if you're technologically illiterate, you probably aren't working in a white collar job that's all about networking. You're probably slinging hash at a Waffle House, hoping the truckers don't spit at you tonight.
  • Spending 12 hours in a chatroom! IM'ing all my friends (I don't know what any of them look like) several times a day! Connecting myself to Kevin Bacon (takes eight degrees for now) on Friendster!

    I just KNEW someday someone would vindicate me and tell everyone that these were not anti-social activities!

  • what if i have a TV tuner card in my computer and watch tv as i use it, does that count as both or just one.
  • Only about 10,000 /. users could have told you this was a "the old one was not even cold yet" dupe. I say we donate about 5 bucks apiece to a paypal account -- and send one of the 10,000 all of the stories 10 minutes before you post....and we can work as the new /. "dupe bot" cluster.
  • often forgetful [slashdot.org] of where they've already been. ;)
  • by kaiwainz (739019) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:43PM (#7994539)
    For me, I maybe lucky to watch 1hour of TV at night, and that is *if* I am lucky whilst on the other hand I would much rather prefer surfing the net, looking for news that interests me and possibly chat to a few friends.

    I completely agree with the UCLA, the people I find that are the *least* socially active are those who are couch potatoes where as for me, I'm able to surf for the information I want, get it straight away then go off and do something else where as if I watch TV, I would have to sit through ads, a couple of feel good news stories just to get to the news story that I could be interested in.

    With that being said, however, yes, there are people on the internet who hide behind their computer screen, too scared to face the world so instead they create a whole new persona specifically for "online communication".

    Now sure, Internet is great for communication, however, like any form of communication, one has to take it in moderation. Simply restricting yourself to online friendships is neither healthy or longterm.

    Now, if we all lived in isolated vacuums then I am sure it wouldn't be so bad but unfortunately these people take their anti-social leanings into work, the net result? you end up with a handful of possibly talented employees but can't work together with others to solve problems.

    In IT we spend WAAY to much time worrying about skills when what the concerntration an universities and other training institutions ensuring that balanced people are graduated who not only know their "stuff" but also have the soft skills required for work that requires close colaboration.
  • Also interesting is how net users watch less television than their offline counterparts.

    I don't know about everyone else, but thanks to my handy TV tuner, I have a tendency to watch TV (or pre-recorded shows) while chatting and surfing the net. I'm three time as efficient at wasting time than most!

  • Does it say anything about internet users posting more dupes than non-internet users?
  • Why waste your time with ignorant people? Most people are ignorant and stupid. Its annoying to even be around most people. Why be social?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Go to he-- er, wait, are you sure that's not anti-social?
  • Has anybody else noticed the irony of this letter and the /. poll today -- your greatest failing as a nerd.

    It was somewhat embaressing as my room mate looked at the poll and then said, "You can't check a single one, can you." Yup, it was a said day when a /. poll did not have an option to be a complete nerd.

    One the flip side it was rather interesting about the fact that they said that the internet has no social benefit. It is rather awkword in the wording and was very ambiguious. It seems to say to me tha
  • recognizing this as a dupe indicates that you have a well-developed social life!
  • television (Score:1, Troll)

    by mabu (178417)
    99.9% of television is crap. You'd live a healthier life by stuffing food up your butt and trying to shit out your mouth. It's nice to know that Internet-savvy users are more aware of this than most of the moron populace.
  • I'm going to ignore the whole dupe thing and attempt to actually reply. My family usually expresses dismay at how much time I spend on my computer. My usual rebuttal is if I wasn't on the computer, I'd be watching TV, and personally I think using a computer is MUCH more intellectually stimulating than watching television.
  • 69%?? (Score:2, Funny)

    by achurch (201270)

    So why is it I can't seem to locate any of this supposed 69% of women on the Internet?

    Oh, I know--they're using a different Internet! I feel much better now.

  • Considering that the average American watches four hours of television per day [centredaily.com], I'm not sure the average person has much time left for socializing. Anything that reduces the amount of TV watched, including using the Internet, is likely to improve how social that person is.
  • by MrP- (45616)
    I have social anxiety disorder so that may be the reason.

    I stayed in my house for over 3 years before I got help and then finally got a job and I'm a little better but i still like staying home. I dont think I've ate out in like 7 years.

    I also watch a lot of TV, while online with my tv tuner card =P

    Guess the study doesn't apply to me
  • Social? (Score:5, Funny)

    by newt_sd (443682) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:55PM (#7994665) Homepage
    How social can it be I have read this in eight different online news sources already!!
  • by cribb (632424) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:55PM (#7994667)
    Obvious computer Geek walks into local mall wearing a t-shirt, and after getting lost and fighting a bit with himself decides to actually talk to the shop assistant:
    Hi, where's the computer dept
    Assistant:
    Third floor, on your right
    Geek:
    Oh, do you know if they sell Netgear LN-234STs over there?
    Assistant:
    Sorry, you should ask the computer dept. people about that
    Geek looks at assistant's t-shirt:
    Do you know that thinkgeek sell a t-shirt just like this one, with "all your base are belong to us" written on it

    Assistant looks at Geek and walks away as fast as possible.

    Geek goes to the computer dept. and immediately finds other geeks talking about the new iPod, joins in in their conversation, and together they flood the assistant with questions about the technical specs of all the mp3 players around, and keep trying to persuade him that the iRivers are better because they are firmware upgradeable to support OGG/Vorbis.

    A few days later, assistant fill in poll about computer users, and in the Comments section fills in:

    They ask a lot of questions, talk way too much, and never buy anything. and what's with this
    "Does it run on linux" question, what is Linux in the first place?


    A few days later slashdot story appears, claiming that geeks are more communicative than other people.
  • by LuxFX (220822) on Thursday January 15, 2004 @10:56PM (#7994679) Homepage Journal
    I agree with the study -- but you do have to consider chat rooms, discussion boards, etc. to be socializing. And I do think they are, but it's a new type of socializing.

    I am an introvert. I'm happy to be an introvert. I hate going places with lots of people, and I tend to be the quiet one if I'm ever in a group of people. But I do a lot of discussion boards. The amazing thing is that online socializing does not mess with my introversion. I'm comfortable submitting comments to discussion boards where I wouldn't be comfortable speaking out at a get-together.

    So maybe the stereotype is right AND the study's results are right. Maybe it is our definition of being social that is being put under the microscope.
    • I am an introvert. I'm happy to be an introvert. I hate going places with lots of people, and I tend to be the quiet one if I'm ever in a group of people. But I do a lot of discussion boards. The amazing thing is that online socializing does not mess with my introversion. I'm comfortable submitting comments to discussion boards where I wouldn't be comfortable speaking out at a get-together. So maybe the stereotype is right AND the study's results are right. Maybe it is our definition of being social that i
      • ...and I wonder why your website requires Flash to view it.

        Because I'm a flash developer, that's my 'portfolio' page, and I need to impress clients. :)

        No flash here: http://www.birnamlabs.com (the side biz I have not much time for anymore)
        or here: http://www.luxfx.com (blog)

        You're absolutely right, traditional 'social' activity requires too much 'social protocol.' Think about how much energy is wasted by people in trying to maintain a superficial look, and wasted in the struggle with peer pressure.

        E
    • "The amazing thing is that online socializing does not mess with my introversion. "

      Which is why it is important to emphasize the difference in the two types of socializing. Now to dwell on your introversion, but when you are online, you are missing out on most of the risks of being social IRL. So while its great that you've found a way to be social in some way, it is important to realize that it doesn't fix the problem of you being uncomfortable with lots of people around, which is what really needs to b

  • Also, what quantifies "internet use"? For this study, I'm assuming that means time spent in front of a web browser. Does ssh'ing into a linux box halfway across the world count? What if it's across the same city? What if it's under my desk? Does checking email count? What if I download my email and read it offline? What if I print out my email and then read it? (no, I don't do this, but I know execs that do) What if I'm at my computer, playing nethack, but I'm signed into Trillian?
  • No big surprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Do not eat (594588)
    I used to be an anti-social geek until I discovered the internet. Upon discovering how easy it is to communicate with people when not face to face, I learned to like people and interact with them. I was able to hide any apprehension, and by subverting this I gained real confidence in myself. This of course translated over well to the real world, and now I consider myself a people person. And no one thinks I am a geek. So this article comes as no surprise to me, and I'm sure that I'm not the only person in t
    • Amazingly, this sounds quite true. During most of my school career I had trouble talking to people because I had nothing in common with them (I was ionterested in computers, everyone else was interested in something else). When I found the Internet and began registering on discussion forums and mailing lists, it really helped me. Now I'm in college and I have no problems relating to people and finding a common ground.

      Hooray for the Intarweb!
    • What's really odd is that this is the type of situation that is supposed to happen at home with your family and extended family, low-stress low apprehension interaction that is. Apparently with today's nuclear families and constantly working parents, kids just don't get the normal socialization at home that they're supposed to. Introducing the new extended family... the internet. Very interesting indeed.

  • is this thing "Television" you speak of?

    Seriously -

    Its true - My TV consumption is way way down ...

    Slashdot now fills that hole in my day !
  • I'm a paraplegic. This is the most socialization I can get.
  • Look now, socializing with porn does not count.
  • by Felinoid (16872) on Friday January 16, 2004 @01:01AM (#7995495) Homepage Journal
    Quite a few high school guidence counclers actually believe wemen can't make a successful carrer in technical fields and will actively discurage intrest in those fields.
    When the guidence councilers ultimately desides what classes the students get to take that bies will effect the class attendence of the technical classes. Reasurence from the teachers that it's not a problem dose not help.

    Equally famaly members will also discurage girls from getting involved in computers becouse "It's too complex".

    This is less and less over time. Each generation has less interfearence as we learn just how important computers really are in the world today.

    We can thank peoples addatudes twords wemen in the 1970s and 80's for the limited representation of wemen on the Internet today.
  • The Pew Internet Life Project [pewinternet.org] issued a similar report recently, suggesting that Internet chat usage had shown only a modest increase.

    We recently published our years end list of the top ten chat topics [chatmag.com] for 2003, and have seen a very good growth both in Chatmag and Internet chat and discussion sites in general. Two years ago, our estimate of functioning chat rooms were at about 750,000. End of 2003 estimates are at about 1,325,000. We now include 'blogs and discussion groups such as Yahoo! Groups and MSN
  • The study does not address slashdot users and their antisocial tendencies. I bet the scores would be hire for normal internet users if slashdot users were put into their own antisocial group.

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