Internet as a ‘volksmedium’

The German national bureau of statistics publishes each year a yearbook about its findings. Statistisches Jahrbuch 2010 (pp. 116/117) tells us that in 2009, 73 % of all Germans above the age of ten did have internet access.

In general, men surf the internet more than women, and the young more than elderly people. 97 % of the people between 10 and 24 are onliners, and up to the age of 45 years, males and females hardly differ in that. The gender gap starts there and becomes more and more obvious. Roughly 40 % of the gentlemen older than 65 years use the internet, less than 20 % of the ladies.

Alas, the Jahrbuch lets us know little about the personal background of the people. A Dutch survey now studied the differences between unschooled and highly educated users.

According to Twente University, the two groups relate to the internet in this way:

  • The unschooled or less schooled spend three hours on the internet a day. They use it mainly to chat, game and watch movies.
  • The more schooled or highly educated spend two and a half hour on the internet a day. They see it especially as a means to gather information and use it for education and career.

93 % of the Dutch have internet access in 2010. 5 % want to have absolutely nothing to do with the internet. The researchers claim that it became a ‘volksmedium’, a medium for the entire people.

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