Access to the Internet: Friends and family have a key position

Access to the Internet: Friends and family have a key position

Those who set out on the Internet often begin their journey with family and friends. The study by the Austrian Institute for Strategy Analysis shows how important this lifeworld location is for the first experiences in dealing with a new media world. “Offline people, who were able to try out or use the medium on whatever occasion, are more open to the technology. For these first experiences, family and friends are more important contacts than courses or training”.

And for permanent use of the Internet, it is particularly important to have points of contact with friends, family and acquaintances. Because who can link a medium with a specific purpose, he will rather recognize a sense of purpose in its use. Especially smartphones and Tablets are particularly suitable for this. Pictures from vacation by e-mail, short messages via instant messenger and news from home while traveling: Smart technologies have many interfaces with everyday life.

Learning together

For a deeper engagement with the Internet, it is important to open up spaces of experience. Internet courses for beginners or senior Internet meetings offer opportunities to exchange ideas on a wide variety of topics. The results of the Silver Surfer Study show how important these learning spaces are. Learning with people in similar life situations and with a similar background of experience serves as a social comparison. Participants in courses report that they found it easier to overcome their own hurdles and fears among the learners, as it was clear that other people are faced with similar challenges in dealing with modern technologies and the operation of devices is by no means a matter of course. In direct contact with people with greater Internet experience, the respondents often expressed that they felt incapable and not in a position to be able to understand simply presented facts by Internet users. Courses can also start to address the security concerns that offline people often have when using the Internet and to show possible solutions.

Enable positive experiences with the Internet

Offline people find themselves in a tense relationship between personal interests, ritualized forms of use of classic mass media and changing worlds. On the one hand, the potential resulting social pressure can lead to people becoming active and going on the Internet. On the other hand, in addition to passive avoidance strategies, conscious decisions can also be made against the use of this medium. Use of the Internet becomes probable when the benefits and advantages of the online world are recognized and interfaces to the everyday world are created based on existing interests and needs. Friends and family have a central position for getting started on the Internet. They are often the place of the first experience with the new media world.


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