Pew Internet and Life Project says internet will have greater impact on our lives by 2020

Over the next decade, the benefits of being social online will greatly outweigh any hindrances that come with it, according to a study. With tools like e-mail and social networks at hand, people have a low-cost means of connecting with new people, as well as with old friends, irrespective of geography and normal time constraints, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. In a survey of 895 Internet experts and users conducted between December 2009 and January 2010, 85 percent said they believe the Internet will be a positive force in their lives in 2020. About 14 percent believe the opposite, saying the Internet will mostly have been a negative force by the year 2020. “Most of the people who participated in the survey were effusive in their praise of the social connectivity already being leveraged globally online,” the study noted. “They said humans’ use of the Internet’s capabilities for communication — for creating, cultivating, and continuing social relationships — is undeniable. Many enthusiastically cited their personal experiences as examples, and several noted that they had met their spouse through Internet-borne interaction.” However, the Internet wasn’t coming up as a positive force for everyone in the survey. Some respondents said the Internet robs them of time they would have otherwise spent on face-to-face relationships. Some also noted that the Internet fosters mostly shallow relationships, may make people feel more isolated and can expose people’s personal information

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9178902/Got_more_friends_You_can_thank_the_Internet

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