TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Internet Plays Bigger Role in Life Decisions: Poll

Internet Plays Bigger Role in Life Decisions: Poll

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 20 Apr 2006 11:01:40 -0500

Nearly half of U.S. users of the Internet went online for help with
major life decisions such as finding a college for their child or
looking for a new place to live, according to a survey released on

The results show that the Internet is becoming increasingly important
to users in their everyday lives, according to the Pew Internet and
American Life Project, a non-profit group which conducted the survey.

Some 45 percent of Internet users, or an estimated 60 million
Americans, said the Internet helped them make big decisions or face a
major moment in their life during the previous two years, the survey
found. That was up from 40 percent of Internet users who answered the
same survey questions in 2002.

Specifically, the survey asked 2,201 adults last month if the Internet
played a crucial or important role in making at least one of eight
major life decisions.

An estimated 21 million Americans turned to the Internet when seeking
more training for a career, while 17 million used it to choose a
school for a family member or to help another person with a major
illness, the Pew Internet group said.

Some 16 million Americans used the Internet when buying a car or
making a major investment or financial decision, it said. An estimated
10 million Americans used the Internet when looking for a new place to
live; 8 million when changing jobs; and 7 million when dealing with
their own major illness or health condition, the survey said.

"It seems likely that the convenience of broadband draws more users to
the Internet to deal with some decision," the Pew Internet group
said. However, better online content and more widely advertised web
sites may also contribute to the rising use of the Internet with major
life decisions, it said.

The survey results were posted on the Internet at

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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