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While the previous chapter looked specifically at mobile phones and their effects, this chapter focuses on the changes believed to be caused by the increased use of the Internet and social media. The majority of the public in all countries surveyed believe that the Internet has a positive impact on education, and this survey is better than four years ago. In three countries surveyed in the Middle East and North Africa, people are less optimistic about the influence of the Internet on politics than they were four years ago. The public is also confused about how the Internet affects their children.
Economic Impact Of The Internet
In general, in many countries people feel that cell phones and the Internet have had the same effect on people, whether they are good or bad. Although different people in many countries believe that social media has been a good thing for society, a small minority sees negative things, which are common among people who do not use social media.
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Things have really improved, but [mobile phones] have made us lazy. For those who are more busy, this has helped us keep things close, but there are times when it can backfire. The relationship is becoming clearer. You may not see the other person clearly. It gets serious and it all depends on what you post on Facebook or Twitter. MAN, 28, MEXICO Society often sees the same effects of cell phones and the Internet.
In addition to asking respondents about the impact of mobile phones on society, they were asked the same series of questions about the impact of the Internet. In general, people experience the effects of mobile phones and the internet in similar ways. In many countries, mobile phones and the Internet are seen as having positive effects on behavior, politics, physical health, domestic culture, civilization and the economy. Similar to cell phones, people in these countries are concerned about the impact of the Internet on children.
Internet users and non-users share similar views on how Internet use has affected many areas of their society. But consumers are more optimistic than others about the political and economic impact of the Internet.
But when it comes to the impact these technologies have on education, many people see the impact of the Internet and cell phones differently. In six of the 11 countries surveyed, more people say increased internet use is good for education than cell phones are good for education. Focus groups in the four study countries revealed one of these differences (see Appendix A for details on how the groups were constructed). Some focus group participants mentioned the educational benefits of children using the Internet to do homework and research, while others explained that phone addiction, games and other distractions interfere with learning.
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When it comes to your studies, teachers can put some courses online or your friends can learn to put things online, so if you are far from the university, you can have all kinds of information. MP, 23, TUNISIA
In five countries, people have different views on how cell phones and the internet affect family unity. Where this difference exists, cell phones are thought to have a better impact on family unity than the same feeling about the Internet.
Venezuelans and Kenyans differ in their assessment of the impact of mobile phones and the Internet on these social issues. Venezuelans generally say that the Internet has had a positive effect on many aspects of society, while Kenyans say that cell phones have had a positive effect.
In recent years, as its use has increased dramatically, perceptions about the impact of the Internet have changed
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Since 2014, when the Pew Research Center asked people in these emerging economies about the impact of the Internet on key areas of their society, overall Internet use has grown significantly.
Along with these changes, opinions about the positive and negative effects of the Internet have changed in many countries. In general, as time has passed and more people have accessed the internet, attitudes have improved when it comes to assessing the impact of the Internet on society, especially on the economy and education.
In many countries, people’s perceptions of the Internet’s impact on the economy and education have generally improved over the past four years. Compared to 2014, there are more people in seven out of 10 countries who believe that the increase in internet use has had a positive effect on the economy of the country. Also in six countries, many people believe that the Internet has had an impact on education. optimistic compared to four years ago.
WhatsApp is important to me because I have many groups. For example, I have 15 sellers, so I don’t have to call them individually, I send one message. WOMAN, 35, MEXICO
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In Lebanon, Kenya, South Africa, Mexico and Vietnam, the public is more optimistic about the impact of the Internet. Lebanese views on the impact of the Internet on education have changed significantly: in 2014, only one in five believed that the Internet had a positive impact on the economy, but today their share has doubled to 42%. Jordanians also have a positive attitude towards the Internet’s impact on education: 71% believe it has a positive impact on education today, compared to less than half (44%) four years ago.
The general increase in Internet use appears to play a role in the public’s positive assessment of the Internet’s economic and educational effects: Internet users in some countries may perceive the effects of the Internet in a positive light. But the rise of Internet use is only part of the story. For example, South Africans are more connected to the internet today than they were in 2014, but their perception of the impact of the internet on the economy has improved.
And at the same time. Four years ago, 56% of Internet users in South Africa believed that the Internet had a positive effect on the economy, compared to 66% today. In Tunisia, Internet usage has increased significantly since 2014. But their opinion about the effect of the Internet on the economy and education has really increased.
In some cases, it was offline users who influenced the change in public opinion. For example, in 2014, 71% of Kenyan Internet users believed that the Internet had a positive impact on the economy, while the same proportion (67%) believed the same today. But among Kenyans who do not use the Internet or own a smartphone, 61 percent today have the same view, compared to 50 percent in 2014 who were optimistic about the Internet’s impact on the economy.
People Say The Internet Brings Economic And Educational Benefits
In some countries the perception of the Internet’s moral and political influence has been positive, while in others these views have become more negative.
While most of this general public has become more optimistic about the economic and educational consequences of the Internet in recent years, a few have become more optimistic about the moral and political consequences. Colombians, Kenyans, Venezuelans and Mexicans are more optimistic about the moral and political impact of the Internet. But the elderly in Jordan and Lebanon have lost hope at the same time.
The biggest change in public opinion on these issues occurred in Jordan, where the public is more pessimistic than it was four years ago. In 2014, about a third of Jordanians said the Internet had a positive effect on behavior, while 42 percent said it had a positive effect on politics. Today, these figures are 12% and 31%.
[Cell phones and social media] have led to the spread of hatred and racism. Another [problem] related to marriage is adultery, which destroys marriage and leads to divorce. People don’t trust each other. MALE, 38, KENYA
The Internet’s Economic Impact
In seven of the 11 countries surveyed, half or more said social networking sites had a positive impact on people. But one-third or more of these eight countries have concerns or outright doubts about the impact of social media. Vietnamese people have the most positive attitudes towards social media, while Indians and Lebanese have the least positive attitudes. In India, more people say social media is good for society (37%) than bad (9%), while a third have no opinion. Venezuelans are divided: 42% think the media has been good, while 43% think it’s bad.
Like mobile phones, people in the 11 countries surveyed felt that social media spoke more about the individual than about society as a whole. 63% say social media is good for them, compared to average
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