|News April 28, 2006
Friday Apr 28, 2006
Shopping, working, and pursuing personal
interests have improved greatly as
experiences for the typical Internet user
continue to benefit from faster access and
new interface technologies.
If you're reading this, then
you're likely in the 73 percent of adults
using the Internet. Do you think a "killer
application" exists, just waiting to be
developed that make the Internet an absolute
necessity? Do you think it's here already?
Tell us what it is at
Pew Internet & American Life Project
recently released a
report on Internet usage by adults in
the United States. While the report by Pew
Mary Madden carries the unfortunate name*
"Internet Penetration and Impact," it does
point out how the Internet has continued to
draw more people in to using it, and those
users seem to be better for it.
From February 15 through April 6, Pew found
in their research 73 percent of adults in
the US use the Internet for a variety of
tasks. Healthcare information has been one
area that benefited Internet users as the
quality and depth of that information
In the report, 20 percent of respondents
said the Internet has greatly improved the
way they get information about healthcare.
Respondents also reported they found great
improvement in doing their jobs (24
percent), shopping (32 percent), and
pursuing interests and hobbies (33 percent)
thanks to the Internet.
Men and women found the Internet equally
useful for doing their jobs and for
shopping; the report said about a third of
male and female respondents said the
Internet has improved that "a lot." Women
found the Internet most useful for finding
healthcare information than men did, while
more men than women said the Internet
improved their personal pursuits.
Those users have increasingly moved to
broadband access, which in some markets
competes very well with dialup access on
price. 42 percent of Americans, about 84
million, have broadband at home, up from 29
percent in January 2005.
Income and education still form a
demarcation line when it comes to having
Internet access at home or using it. As
incomes rise above $30,000, the likelihood
of having an Internet connection rises to 80
percent, and increases greatly over $50,000
and over $75,000.
College graduates go online at a 91 percent
clip, the report said. Only 40 percent of
adults with less than a high school
education do so.
*(Madden's last two
reports were on 'Romance in America' and
'Online Dating'; we were a little afraid of
opening this report at first. Maybe
"Internet Usage and Effect would have been a
About the Author:
David is a staff writer for
WebProNews covering technology and
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