[MUD-Dev] Survey: Internet Cuts Into TV Time

Michael Tresca talien at toast.net
Tue Dec 4 07:51:26 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

Regarding in-person social activities (including role-playing)
vs. using the Internet, from


NEW YORK (AP) - A new survey suggests that the Internet is not
cutting into the time people spend with their friends and
families. Rather, it's cutting into their time for television.

Internet users watched 4.5 less hours of television a week than
Americans who stay offline, according to the study released Thursday
by the University of California at Los Angeles. Longtime Net users
are more likely than newcomers to reduce their viewing habits.

"Without question, Internet users are 'buying' some of their time to
go online from the time they used to spend watching television,"
said Jeff Cole, director of the UCLA Center for Communication

Internet users socialized with friends slightly longer than nonusers
did, and they spent nearly as much time socializing with family, the
study found.  Users and nonusers spent about the same amount of time
on most household activities, like having meals and playing sports.

The exception was television. Nonusers spent 10 hours a week
watching television with members of their household, compared with
9.4 hours for Internet newcomers and 6.7 hours for veterans.

For general TV-watching, nonusers spent 16.8 hours, while users
spent 12.3 hours. Internet users also spent less time listening to
the radio, talking on the telephone and reading books, newspapers
and magazines.

Nearly 30 percent of the newcomers - those online for less than a
year - said they have watched less TV. For veterans on the Net for
at least five years, the figure increases to nearly 35 percent.

Nearly a quarter of children watched less television since using the

The findings are consistent with research from the Pew Internet &
American Life Project, which found a quarter of Internet users
decreasing their TV watching. Only 3 percent of Internet users said
they watched more television.

None of the surveys, however, suggest the demise of television
anytime soon.  Pew, for instance, had found that Americans turned to
television as their primary source of news immediately following the
Sept. 11 attacks, while Internet usage dropped on Sept. 11 and 12.

Dennis Wharton, a spokesman with the National Association of
Broadcasters, said that while the Internet potentially gives
broadcasters competition, "over time there's going to be a sort of
marriage of the two."

"Media usage is not some sort of zero-sum game," he said. "The study
seems to suggest you can't do both at the same time."

Wharton added that overall television viewership - broadcast, cable
and satellite combined - has grown over the past decade.

UCLA's Cole said that when someone was using the Net and watching
television at the same time, only the primary activity was counted.

The telephone survey of 2,006 U.S. households was conducted from May
to July. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage
points. The study was funded partly by the National Science
Foundation (news - web sites).

Among other findings:

  - Internet users were most satisfied with the ability to
  communicate with other people online. They were least satisfied
  with the speed of connection.

  - More than 72 percent of Americans have Internet access, up from
  67 percent in 2000. Users spent 9.8 hours a week online, up from
  9.4 hours. High-speed users spent three hours a week online more
  than dial-up users.

  - Privacy and credit card security remain chief concerns when
  shopping online, although the concerns about credit cards
  decreased among veterans.

  - Americans were more likely to be concerned about sexual content
  in movies and on television than over the Internet, although all
  three media provoked significant worries.

Mike "Talien" Tresca
RetroMUD Administrator

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