Use of the Internet – lessons learned from studies among the young in Slovenia
National Institute of Public Health, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Modern media, especially the Internet, play a central role in our lives, especially in the lives of the young generation; therefore, it attracts the attention of researchers, politicians and the public. The evaluation of the role of the Internet in our everyday lives is controversial. We can find many studies that stress the positive effects of media and the Internet on the development of individuals and society, because it performs so many different functions. Others find that the virtualisation of everyday life (frequent use of information technology and its increasing importance in everyday life) has negative effects on individuals and society. The focus of this article is on the young since they are the most frequent users of the Internet. Two extensive representative studies among Slovenian youth between 16 and 29 years old were conducted in 2000 and 2010 that triggered our attention. We analysed this data to learn as much as possible about those people who use the Internet most frequently and to establish if they differ from their peers. We found significant differences in the personal values of the young in 2000 in relation to the frequency of their use of the Internet. However, the results of the study in 2010 show that the young in Slovenia are a relatively homogeneous group according to their use of the Internet – not many factors seem to influence frequency of Internet use, nor are they...
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