2008 will be seen as a landmark year in global communications in the textbooks of 2100 – it was the year that the internet finally surpassed what was once considered an unassailable bastion of main media, newspapers, as the leading source of national and international news in America. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. This year, for the first time in a Pew survey, more people said they relied mostly on the internet for news than those that cited newspapers (35%). Television retained top spot with 70% but it’s now clear that it’s when, rather than if, the internet will become the key news communications medium.
The growing importance of the internet in today's society is further reflected in the recently released poll entitled "Internet Reliance in Today's Economy." Conducted by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Intel, the poll found most adults find internet access essential.
The Intel release follows:
Most U.S. adults find Internet access essential to daily life in today's economic climate, with some choosing it as a must-have over watching TV and having sex, according to the recent "Internet Reliance in Today's Economy" survey conducted by Harris Interactive* and sponsored by Intel Corporation.
The survey revealed that 65 percent of adults feel they cannot live without Internet access1, and even more – 71 percent – responded that it is important or very important to have Internet-enabled devices, such as laptops, netbooks and mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that can provide them with real-time updates on important issues including the state of the economy. Most U.S. adults also identify the Internet as a key tool in today's economy for managing personal finances, finding discounts and the best deals while shopping online, and many rated access to the Internet as indispensable compared to other discretionary items, such as dining out, shopping for clothes and gym memberships.
Key Survey Findings
Would You Choose the Internet Over Sex?: According to the survey, nearly half of women (46 percent) and 30 percent of men would rather go without sex for 2 weeks than give up Internet access for the same amount of time. For women aged 18-34 it was 49 percent and for women aged 35-44 it was 52 percent. For men aged 18-34, it was 39 percent.
Internet Access Essential in Today's Economic Climate: Ninety-five percent of adults feel that it is very important, important or somewhat important for people to have devices that allow them to access the Internet. A majority (82 percent) agree that Internet-enabled devices help them stay up to date real-time on the state of the economy. Eighty-seven percent say that Internet access has helped them save money. Of these adults:
* Eighty-four percent have saved money by comparing prices online and finding the best deals before making purchase decisions. * Sixty-six percent have saved money simply by shopping online. * Sixty-five percent say the Internet has helped them save money by allowing them to search for coupons, discounts or special Internet promotions.
Move over Gym Membership, the Internet is a Must-Have: When asked to rate certain discretionary items on a scale of 1 (completely expendable) to 5 (cannot live without it), having Internet access ranks highest among the items listed, with 65 percent of U.S. adults reporting they cannot live without it.1 The following items and activities were ranked below Internet access in importance:
* Cable television subscriptions (39 percent) * Dining out (20 percent) * Shopping for clothes (18 percent) * Gym membership (10 percent)
The Internet Trumps the TV: The majority (61 percent) of adult women would choose to give up watching TV for 2 weeks instead of giving up access to the Internet for only 1 week, and more than half of all U.S. adults (58 percent), both male and female, agree. Many shows and movies are available online, and laptops with powerful, energy-efficient processors make TV watching – even when on the go – possible almost anywhere.
* Sixty-seven percent of U.S. adults aged 18-34, 57 percent of U.S. adults aged 35-44 and 52 percent of U.S. adults aged 45 and older would rather go 2 weeks without watching TV than give up Internet access for a week.
Life is Better Because of the Internet: Nine of 10 U.S. adults (91 percent) report that the ability to access the Internet has improved at least one aspect of their lives. Within this group:
* Seventy-eight percent say their ability to stay in touch with friends and family has improved. * Sixty-eight percent say they are able to shop more effectively. * Nearly half (47 percent) say they are able to manage their finances better because of the Internet through activities such as online banking and paying bills.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Intel from Nov. 18-20 among 2,119 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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