It seems nothing can temper Internet’s appeal to ordinary people around the world, but in some of the countries that are still getting accustomed to the endless possibilities it offers, some view it with fear as well as hope. Pew Research announced the results of a new study on Thursday morning, according to which public opinion in emerging countries believes the internet is having a bad impact on moral behavior.
According to the study, during which technology use in 32 developing nations was examined, people have mixed feelings about the effects of the internet. While most those interviewed view the internet as a positive thing in general, bringing people access to information they may have not been able to get otherwise, there are still many who resent it.
People tend to value the effect internet is having on their social lives, a good sign for giants like Google and Facebook who allow an increasing amount of their funding trying to bring internet access in emerging markets. The subjects also think that unrestricted access to information online is helping them make better day-to-day economy choices and stay in touch with the political life in their country.
The numbers Pew Research published showed 64 percent of the population, including those who don’t have a connection, say the internet is a good for education, and 53 percent believe it helps their social life. About the same number, 52 percent, think the internet is good for economy, but the matter got problematic when asked about how internet influences their behavior.
Only 29% argued that the internet is a good thing for morality, while 42% strongly believed it has a corrupting influence. There wasn’t much of a difference from country to country between the study results, as they tend to be representative for a large number of nations.
Some questioned the relevance of the study, however, since many of those interviewed have never used or do not have internet access on a daily basis. As far as those are concerned, their responses reflect more of a general opinion spread among the general population and tend to be influenced by the bad “reputation” the internet earned through the intense popularization of some cases. For instance, for some of them the internet is above all else a platform for sex predators and human traffickers.
And indeed, by taking a look at the results, those who actually have access to the internet tend to values its positive effects more – 65 percent of users think it helps their personal relations, compared to 44 percent of non-internet users.
Image Source: Tech Crunch
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