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Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 2:09 am
From: David Bucknell
Organization: WBAIS-iteachnet
Subject: The Lonely Net - Seth Ruef

Subject:
Food For Thought
Date:
Sun, 30 Aug 1998 18:46:07 +0000
From:
"Seth H. Ruef"
Organization:
AISL
To:
"International Educators Forum"




THE LONELY NET
A two-year, $1.5-million study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon
University, funded by the National Science Foundation and major
technology companies, has concluded that Internet use appears to cause a
decline in psychological well-being. A director of the study says, "We
are not talking here about the extremes. These were normal adults and
their families, and on average, for those who used the Internet most,
things got worse." One hour a week of Internet use led on average to an
increase of 1% on the depression scale, an increase of 0.04% on the
loneliness scale, and a loss of 2.7 members of the subject's social
circle (which averaged 66 people). Although the study participants used
e-mail, chat rooms, and other social features of the Internet to
interact with others, they reported a decline in interaction with their
own family members and a reduction in their circles of friends. "Our
hypothesis is, there are more cases where you're building shallow
relationships [on the Internet], leading to an overall decline in
feeling of connection to other people." Since the 169 study
participants, all from the Pittsburgh area, were not chosen in a random
selection process, it is not clear how the findings apply to the general
population, but a RAND Corporation senior scientist says, "They did an
extremely careful scientific study, and it's not a result that's easily
ignored." (New York Times 30 Aug 98)


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opyright International Educators' Network Association ,1998.