Internet Behaviors





Abstract



Little research has been done on the changing behaviors that accompany Internet use. With a questionnaire passed out to a 53 people, (32 males and 21 females) the amount of time spent on line compared to the lifestyles and the behaviors of the user. The results, some interpretations and implication for further research are discussed.



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An Assessment of Internet Behaviors
In the past few years the Internet has taken over the world, as we knew it. The Internet has opened the door to long distance communication via email and instant messaging. We can now shop pay bills, attend college, listen to music, bank and find romance while never leaving our house.
However, with the good comes the bad. Families are splitting up, children are being neglected and pedophiles have found that they have easier access to young children. John Baptiste paid the ultimate price. John and Debi purchased a personal computer for their family business. Within a year Debi, a compulsive gambler, had lost $30,000 while gambling online, then out of desperation she committed suicide (Jabs 74). In Cincinnati, a mother of three found herself so engrossed with the internet that she would lock herself in her room with her computer while her children played in squalor on the other side of the door. She was charged with child endangerment. A pedophile in London, England used the Internet to entice a 13-year-old girl to his home for sex was jailed for five years. Isn’t it ironic that he was arrested while on his way to meet a 14-year-old girl that he met on the Internet while posing as a 15-year-old boy (Reid).
The stories are endless; marriages breakup daily as someone starts a cyber affair, or someone feels neglected as the spouse/parent loses track of time of the amount of hours spent online. The stories indicate that there is a problem. The present study’s objective was to gather information on the extent and nature of Internet behaviors and to discuss some of the interpretations.
Method



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Sample
I conducted a survey of convenience. Fifty-three people, (32 males and 21 females) completed the survey. Some surveys were sent to people in my email address book and also handed out to some students on campus. The survey was not limited to race, sex, major or income.
The Questionnaire
A questionnaire exploring Internet behaviors was sent or passed out to a variety of people. The survey consisted of seven questions about the demographic characteristics of the sample. The other 14 questions consisted of the person’s behaviors and attitudes about the Internet use.
It was hypothesized that the lifestyle variables were expected to influence the Internet behavior.
Results
The hours spent online is influenced by the persons age and marital status. A greater number of the people surveyed were single (62%). Out of them, 70% of the single people were males and 30% were females. Out of the people surveyed, 71% of the females and 47% of the males, did spend 2-4 hours online a day. Of the females 43% admitted to putting off household duties while 41% of the males claimed to also put off household duties to remain online. When asked if any area of their life has changed since the Internet, 63% of the males and 48% of the females said their life has changed. Fifty-three percent of the males and 43% females claimed that their social life has been the most affected. When asked, “if anyone has ever chosen to spend an evening online instead of going out with family or friends,” 50% of the males and 38% of the females admitted to
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choosing the Internet over their friends. Also, 33% of the females and 41% of the males stated that their family life has changed because of their Internet behavior. When asked if anyone has ever tried to cut down, 48% of the females and 56% of the males said they have tried. The number one reason for men trying to cut down was because of family. The number one reason for the women was that they themselves felt that their usage was becoming a problem.
Discussion
The Internet has helped pave the way towards an easier life for society. Students can click on to many resources