The Internet and Social Life

The Internet and Social Life The Internet is the latest in a series of technological breakthroughs in interpersonal communication, following the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television. It combines innovative features of its predecessors, such as bridging great distances and reaching a mass audience. However, the Internet has novel features as well, most critically the relative anonymity afforded to users and the provision of group venues in which to meet others with similar interests and values. We place the Internet in its historical context, and then examine the effects of Internet use on the user's psychological well-being, the formation and maintenance of personal relationships, group memberships and social identity, the workplace, and community involvement. The evidence suggests that while these effects are largely dependent on the particular goals that users bring to the interaction—such as self-expression, affiliation, or competition—they also interact in important ways with the unique qualities of the Internet communication situation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Psychology Annual Reviews

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Publisher
Annual Reviews
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved
ISSN
0066-4308
eISSN
1545-2085
DOI
10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922
pmid
14744227
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Internet is the latest in a series of technological breakthroughs in interpersonal communication, following the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television. It combines innovative features of its predecessors, such as bridging great distances and reaching a mass audience. However, the Internet has novel features as well, most critically the relative anonymity afforded to users and the provision of group venues in which to meet others with similar interests and values. We place the Internet in its historical context, and then examine the effects of Internet use on the user's psychological well-being, the formation and maintenance of personal relationships, group memberships and social identity, the workplace, and community involvement. The evidence suggests that while these effects are largely dependent on the particular goals that users bring to the interaction—such as self-expression, affiliation, or competition—they also interact in important ways with the unique qualities of the Internet communication situation.

Journal

Annual Review of PsychologyAnnual Reviews

Published: Feb 4, 2004

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