Family loses out as Net takes over

The Dominion Post 29 July 2008

An AUT University report on the impact of the Internet revealed that 22 per cent of the 1430 people surveyed spent less face-to-face time with the family they lived with since connecting to the Internet. Professor Allan Bell, director of AUT’s institute of culture, discourse and communication and leader of the study, said that despite this, the study showed the Internet had had an overwhelmingly positive impact on social relationships. Sixty-four per cent of respondents said the Internet had increased their contact with friends, and 60 per cent said it had increased their contact with family – even if it was virtual.

Family First director Bob McCoskrie said the finding was cause for concern. “You can have 300 friends on your Bebo site, but you still need those deeper relationships. There needs to be engaged interaction amongst the family.” The Internet had surpassed other people as the main source of information, the report said.