The Internet and Daily Life: Many Americans use the Internet in everyday activities, but traditional offline habits still dominate
8/11/2004 | Memo Report | Deborah Fallows
America’s Online Pursuits
This report, which analyzes the responses of more than 64,000 Americans to phone surveys in the past three years, shows that 63 percent of U.S. adults now are online and many of them – especially those with several years of online experience – have built Internet use into their lives in practical ways.
The vast majority of online Americans say the Internet plays a role in their daily routines and that the rhythm of their everyday lives would be affected if they could no longer go online. Yet, despite its great popularity and allure, the Internet still plays second fiddle to old-fashioned habits. Fully 88% of online Americans say the Internet plays a role in their daily routines. Of those, one-third say it plays a major role, and two-thirds say it plays a minor role. The activities they identified as most significant are communicating with family and friends and finding a wealth of information at their fingertips. And 64% of Internet users say their daily routines and activities would be affected if they could no longer use the Internet.
Still, while nearly all Internet users go online to conduct some of their ordinary day-to-day activities online, most still default to the traditional offline ways of communicating, transacting affairs, getting information and entertaining themselves. For instance, they are more likely to do these things offline than online: get news, play games, pay bills, send cards, look up phone numbers and addresses, buy tickets, check sports scores, listen to music, schedule appointments, and communicate with friends.