The Net is turning people into loners who prefer a computer interface rather than the warmth of a smile from fellow human beings. It is responsible for dehumanising people, leading to social and dysfunctional problems among its users. It is also blamed for the breakdown of family groups. Looking on the bright side, Net users also report spending fewer hours caught in traffic, fewer hours in shopping malls and less time watching TV. It could even be bring an end to traffic congestion. These are just some of the conclusions published in a report by Stanford University. "The Internet could be the ultimate isolating technology that further reduces our participation in communities even more than television did before it," said Norman Nie, a professor at the University. "The more hours people use the Internet, the less time they spend with real human beings," he said. Other finding include:
- The more years people have spent online, the more hours they spend on the Net.
- A quarter of regular Net users claim it has reduced their time with friends and family, or attending events outside the home.
- A quarter of regular users say the Net has increased the time they spend working from home, without cutting back at the office.
- 60 per cent of people say the Net has reduced their TV.
- 30 per cent say they spend less time reading newspapers.
Now kindly leave me alone, I have some surfing to do... ®