Who’s Addicted To The Internet

Alison Young
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October 17, 2007
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Who's Addicted To The Internet

Most people I know constantly check their e-mail and surf the Internet, at minimum, once a day - as long as there’s access to a computer or phone with connectivity. I just wanted to share the results of this extensive survey recently conducted by the ad agency JWT (J. Walter Thompson). It shows the majority of people “cannot imagine being without Internet access for more than a week.” I know I can’t even go a day, much less a week!

Fifteen percent of the survey respondents said they would survive without online access for a day or less. Twenty-one percent said a couple days, and 19 percent said a few days. Only a fifth of the group said they could go for a week without the Internet. Fourty-eight percent of the respondents agreed that, “If I cannot access the Internet when I want to, I feel like something important is missing.”

“Mobility represents the next big shift,” says Marian Salzman, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at JWT. “Older Americans are happy to sit in the same place to go online, while younger people expect to be able to connect anywhere at any time.”

Here are other trends discovered in this interesting survey: More than 28 percent admit they spend less time socializing face-to-face with peers because of the time spent online or occupied with gadgets.

Cell phones beat television usage, but Internet use still trumps all and is regarded as the most necessary.

Almost three-quarters of the survey’s participants say they now shop differently than before, and more of their spending is online: “The Internet has changed the way I shop.”

This surprises me, since almost none of my gal pals owns a gaming console or is even into gaming, but the women from this study are more likely to own a gaming console (Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox/Xbox 360, PlayStation 2/3), compared to

39 percent of men. Age-wise, individuals under

35 are significantly more likely to own a gaming console.

Men under 35 are most likely to use WiFi networking at home. A quarter of the respondents said they actually have WiFi at home: 30 percent of them were men and 22 percent were women. Ninety-seven percent of the surveyed have Internet access at home. Male and female are equally likely to be online frequently.

About a third of the participants own an mp3 player (i.e. iPod). Men are slightly more likely than women to own one, and not surprisingly, the younger crowd possesses more mp3 players than the older folks (55+).

E-mail usage is the highest among women, and most use online e-mail services such as Hotmail or Gmail. The younger group uses more web-based e-mail as opposed to actually setting up the account in Outlook, etc., directly on the computer.

Women are slightly more likely to own a digital camera, and two-thirds of the men say they own a standalone digital camera (not built into a cell phone), compared to 74 percent of the women.

Digital is an essential component for the majority of the respondents. Men and women both agree almost equally (60 percent vs. 58 percent) that “digital technology is an essential part of how I live.” As the age goes up, however, the digital lifestyle is not as important.

Overall this survey was conducted randomly to Americans 18 years and older in September. I’m not surprised by any of the results, since most of us are so digitally dependent - myself included.


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