Sunday, September 26, 2004

unplugging

dina mehta points to an internet deprivation study.

pandemonium ensues.

All participants in the qualitative portion of the study found living without the Internet more difficult than they expected, and in some cases impossible, because the tools and services the Internet offers were firmly ingrained in their daily lives...Nearly half the respondents in a complementary quantitative study indicated they could not go without the Internet for more than two weeks and the median time respondents could go without being online is five days.
[...]
Internet users feel confident, secure and empowered. The Internet has become, to some, the ultimate symbol of modernity to the point that participants were hobbled without convenient access to routine information like maps and telephone numbers. The pervasive nature of the Internet is such that participants often forgot or lost the desire to use "old fashioned tools" like the phone book, newspapers and telephone-based customer service.
[...]
According to the research, communications figured most prominently in the withdrawal process, demonstrating a new social network paradigm. The study shows that the Internet affords people the ability to overcome time and distance and to manage communications with a larger social circle, thereby creating an effortless community. Participants in the study found they missed the ability to exercise control over the pace and content of communication with different layers of friends and families. As a result, during the deprivation period, participants' outer circle of relationships suffered.


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