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In my own experience, interacting on the web can be discouraging and enervating — especially when engaging in political discussions during the almost election cycles. Furthermore, some studies have indicated that so much involvement in the Digital Age has negative repercussions, including computer vision syndrome, depression, and Internet addiction disorder — to name only a few of a myriad of negative consequences.
According to this recent article in the Washington Post, however:
The Internet actually makes us happier, science saysRead the rest HERE.
According to a strain of trend piece popular in certain circles these days, the Web is some kind of social parasite, eating our decency and confidence and good humor away. It’s filled us with FOMO; it’s made us fake; it’s torpedoed love and intimacy.
It’s also, per a new paper, made us measurably happier as a society.
The paper, titled “Life Satisfaction in the Internet Age” and forthcoming in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, is the first to study the long-term, at-scale impact of the Internet on personal satisfaction. The researchers — both of whom are based out of Israeli universities — analyzed almost a decade of data from Israel’s Annual Social Surveys, encompassing responses from more than 70,000 people.
Through a series of statistical models, they were then able to isolate the specific relationship between Internet adoption (which is up in the past decade) and self-described life satisfaction (which is up slightly among most people, and stable among seniors).
The TL;DR: Internet users are more satisfied with their lives than non-users, and Internet adoption over the past decade has directly (and positively!) impacted life-satisfaction. Those effects are especially pronounced among the elderly, the poor and the ill or handicapped....
The end of the article asks an important question: what would it feel like if you didn’t even have the Internet?
Perhaps our relationship with the Internet is a love-hate relationship.
I go back and forth between decrying the Internet, especially the acerbity of political blogging, and being grateful that we have such a wonderful research and social tool at our fingertips.
What is your view on this topic?