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25 years online: Many consider the Internet, cellphones essential

25 years online: Many consider the Internet, cellphones essential - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

TORONTO – 1989 was an eventful year: The Loonie replaced the Canadian one-dollar bill in circulation, Taylor Swift was born, and Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed an information management system that would become known as the World Wide Web.

On March 12 the Internet turns 25 – a number that for some may sound small, considering how engrained our online habits are.

According to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, over half of Internet users say the Internet would be very hard to give up and 61 per cent of those people consider the web essential to their daily lives. In 2006 only 38 per cent of users felt that strongly about the net.

Today, 39 per cent of Americans consider the Internet an essential service.

Pew Research, which has been studying Internet and technology adoption rates since 1995, released new surveys on Internet use Thursday as part of its look back at the web’s rise.

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“The rise of the web – and more broadly, the Internet – has been one of the most remarkable stories of technology adoption in history,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center Internet Project.

“Digital technologies have spread to every corner of the globe and most aspects of everyday life for users. After they tote up all the positives and negatives of life in the digital age, the vast majority of users believe these technologies have made things better for them and for society.”

READ MORE: Tech adoption leading to economic advances in emerging markets

Pew found that 90 per cent of those who use the Internet felt it’s had a positive impact on them.

Only 6 per cent said it’s been a bad thing.

Pew’s poll also found that a growing number of users consider their cellphones or smartphones essential to their daily lives; 49 per cent of people said they would have a hard time giving up their gadget today, compared to 43 per cent in 2006.

However, as a growing number of Internet users cut the cord in favourite of streaming services like Netflix it seems that some people are more willing to give up their TVs.

Only 35 per cent of those surveyed said they would have a hard time kissing their TVs goodbye – down from 44 per cent in 2006.

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