The Oxford Internet Survey 2009 from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University has been published. The report is a 75 page document which looks at the Internet in Britain and has a whole load of statistics and data which loks at the UK’s digital development. This is the fourth study to date, with previous reports being published in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
A massive hat tip must go to Marshall Manson for sharing!
The study is hefty and would take many hours of blogging to decipher and decode, so i’ve tried to pull out some of the most interesting stats for your delectation.
On why we use the Internet:
Students and employed users started using the Internet mainly because they had to use it for school or work. Not surprisingly, students were more likely than employed and retired users to have started using the Internet because they had to use it for school (47%) and because access was provided at school (17%),
while employed users were more likely than others to say that they started using the Internet because they had to use it for work (24%).
On the other hand, retired users had mostly interest driven motivations to go online. Retired users were more likely than others to say that they started using the Internet to ‘try it out’ (39%), to keep in touch with family and friends (11%) and because someone recommended it (12%). Users and ex-users did not differ significantly in the reasons they gave to start using the Internet. There was only one important difference: ex-users were more likely than users to say they started using the Internet to try it out (38% v. 30%).
On meeting online acquaintances offline:
“How was the experience of meeting them in person?”
On average, people reported having had ‘a really good time’ (61%) meeting online friends in person. Only 3% said that their experience of meeting people online had been upsetting or not enjoyable.
“Some people think governments should regulate the Internet more than they do today, others think governments should regulate the Internet less. Do you think the government should regulate the Internet far more, more, no more no less, less or far less?”
People thought that governments should regulate the Internet more, but Internet users were less in favour of government regulation than non-users.
71% of non-users thought the Government should regulate the Internet more or far more, compared to 57% of users. Women and retired people also showed strong support for government regulation: 70% of women
(compared to 50% of men) and 73% of retired people (compared to 59% of employed and 39% of students) agreed that the Government should regulate the Internet more or far more.
On Attitudes Towards Technology and the Internet:
“Please tell me how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?”
Most British people expressed positive attitudes towards technology in general.
Internet users had more positive attitudes towards technology than non-users. They thought technology was making things better for people like them (84% v. 32%) and that it was a good idea to try new technologies out (84% v. 47%). Non-users distrusted technologies more (52% v. 13%) and were nervous about using technologies (53% v. 13%).
People were positive about the Internet. Not surprisingly, Internet users showed more positive attitudes towards the Internet than non-users. They agreed more with the view that the Internet is an efficient means for finding information (94% v. 75%), that the Internet makes life easier (87% v. 41%) and that it helps save time (83% v. 62%). Non-users found the Internet more complex (74% v. 49% agree), said that there is too much immoral material on the Internet (68% v. 47% agree) and agreed that it is frustrating to work with (51% v. 23%). However, users and non-users agreed almost to the same extent that the Internet can be addictive (77% v. 71%).
On Internet and Privacy:
“Please tell me how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.”
In 2009, people were as concerned about credit card fraud as they were in 2007 (90% agreed people should be concerned). However, they were less concerned about personal privacy (45% v. 66% agreed computers are a threat). In addition, people felt strongly about the right to anonymously express opinions (57% v. 60% agreed).
You can read the full report below, or download it here.