Monday, August 13, 2007

Internet changes lives of Dutch

Since the introduction of consumer internet in 1994, life of the Dutch has changed dramatically. Internet has been integrated in the daily activities as is clear from the top three activities: searching internet, internet banking and reading news. Advantages of online are speediness, comfort and timeshift. However, the consumer sees also that internet hurts the cosiness of offline activities. Those are the results of the representative report Online or Offline, a research assignment into the digitisation of Dutch society by the Postbank, the largest consumer bank of the Netherlands.

The report has some aspects of the Pew Internet & American Life project, but in the Online or Offline report many subjects are brought together.

Banking. More than 91 pct of the respondents bank online. Internet banking is popular as it offers a survey of transfers and expenses; is immediate and can be used anywhere at any time.

News source. Internet is used by the Dutch in order to find information and news. No less than 52 pct. Consults newspapers on internet rather than in print. New sites are characterised as timely, free and usually easy to read. Print newspapers are still popular as they function for relaxation and figure in the daily routine. Two third of the respondents up to forty years consider internet as a source of news; for people over fifty years only one third consider internet as a source of news. Men read the news sites during their work; fewer women do this.

Meet your date. Respondents indicate that they rather meet people in reality (84 pct.) than virtually (16 pct.). Women indicate that they rather meet their date for the first time on internet.

Booking trips. More than 60 pct of the respondents have booked a trip through internet. The easiness and the price comparison are indicated as the advantages. Internet has changed the travel sector once and for all.
Online shopping. People still go shopping. But shopping online is on the increase. People experience this as easy, fast, comparable, overseeable and not bound by time.

Picture postcard. The majority of respondents (62 pct.) still like to receive an old fashioned picture postcard rather than an e-card. Yet people up to thirty years of age will rather send an e-card, as they consider this more personal and with more impact.

Differences in internet use. It looks like older people underuse the internet opportunities. However this does not mean that they are less active on internet. Older people make their choice of online or offline more consciously.

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