The Internet is an electronic network of networks that links people and information through computers and other digital devices allowing both person-to-person communication and information retrieval. The number of Americans online stands at nearly 100 million, with 55 million going online on a typical day. The World Wide Web alone has more than 10 million sites representing over two billion Web pages, with as many as two million pages added daily. (1)
"Manuel Castells has argued that the world is entering an "information age" in which digital information technology "provides the material basis" for the "pervasive expansion" of what he calls "the networking form of organization" in every realm of social structure. According to Castells, the Internet's integration of print, oral, and audiovisual modalities into a single system promises an impact on society comparable to that of the alphabet, creating new forms of identity and inequality, submerging power in decentered flows, and establishing new forms of social organization."(1)
U.S. Online Population Holds Steady2
"More than half of U.S. adults go online from home, up from 49 percent in 2000. More than one-quarter (28 percent) are online at work and 19 percent go online from other locations. The survey also found computer use is becoming synonymous with Internet access. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of all adults are using a computer at home, work or at another location, virtually identical to last year's 74 percent. Eighty-eight percent of all those who use a computer are online, 12 percent are not.2"
1. Social Implications of the Internet, Paul DiMaggio, Eszter Hargittai, W. Russell Neuman, and John P. Robinson, Annual Review of Sociology 2001. 27:307-336.
2. Copyright,2001, INT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from http://www.internet.com. (http://cyberatlas.internet.com/big_picture/geographics/article/0,,5911_919221,00.html).