U.S. Internet surfers often just looking for fun: study

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, December 2, 2011 16:20 EDT
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An Internet cafe. Photo: AFP.
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While the Internet might be a budding repository of the world’s knowledge, most Americans go online just for kicks, according to a study released on Friday.

On any given day, 53 percent of the folks in the United States between the ages of 18 and 29 go online to have fun or to simply pass the time, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project report found.

The percentage jumped to 81 when people in that age bracket were asked if they turned to the Internet purely for diversion at least occasionally.

When results for all ages were combined, it was determined that 58 percent of US adults tend to fritter away time online at one point or another.

An “upsurge” in the use of the Internet as a distraction from the real world coincided with a rise in broadband connectivity that makes streaming video more alluring and to a boom in social networking, according to the researchers.

“If they have broadband, if they are online video consumers, if they use social media of any kind — especially social networking sites — they are much more likely than others to go online to pass the time,” the study concluded.

The findings, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, were based on a survey in August of 2,260 adults.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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