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The World Wide Web Turns 25: It Has Been A Positive Force For Society And People

Source: Pew Research Center surveys, 1995-2014. Pew Research Center

Source: Pew Research Center surveys, 1995-2014.

Susannah Fox and Lee Rainie, who spearhead the Pew Research Internet Project, remind us of how the internet and web have become an integral part of Americans’ social lives. In their latest post, they share new data on the “explosive adoption of the internet and its wide-ranging impacts” on peoples’ lives.

Among the new results:

ADOPTION

  • 87% of American adults now use the internet, young adults ages 18-29 (97%), and those with college degrees (97%).
  • 68% of adults connect to the internet with mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers.

IMPACT

  • 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.

ONLINE SOCIAL CLIMATE

  • 70% of internet users say they had been treated kindly or generously by others online. That compares with 25% who say they have been treated unkindly or been attacked.
  • 56% of internet users say they have seen an online group come together to help a person or a community solve a problem. That compares with 25% who say they have left an online group because the interaction became too heated or members were unpleasant to one another.

Kudos to Sir Tim Berners-Lee who turned “the internet into a mass-adopted technology (…) easily used by hundreds of millions around the world.”

Related reportWho’s Not Online and Why

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