Study: 10 Major Trends Emerging in the Internet’s First Decade of Public Use
Among the findings from Year Four of the Digital Future Project:
• Internet access has risen to its highest level ever. About three-quarters of Americans now go online.
• The number of hours spent online continues to increase, rising to an average of 12.5 hours per week – the highest level in the study thus far.
• Although the Internet has become the most important source of current information for users, the initially high level of credibility of information on the Internet began to drop in the third year of the study, and declined even further in Year Four.
• The number of users who believe that only about half of the information on the Internet is accurate and reliable is growing and has now passed 40 percent of users for the first time.
• The study showed that most users trust information on the websites they visit regularly, and on pages created by established media and the government.
• Information pages posted by individuals have the lowest credibility: only 9.5 percent of users say information on those sites is reliable and accurate.
• Television viewing continues to decline among Internet users, raising the question: “What will happen as a nation that once spent an extremely large portion of time in a passive activity (watching television) transfers increasingly large portions of that time to an interactive activity (the Internet)?”