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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Internet is changing the way we communicate

Its been a while since I wrote about the way that the Internet is changing the cultural setting of societies.

Now, a new study from Korea shows that the Internet really is driving the way people communicate with each other.

First of all, the "average Korean is having two e-mail accounts and 41.7 percent using instant messenger programs," a number, which parallels other countries in the region.

However, Korea is a bit different and seen as a testbed in the usage of technology for companies.

And the numbers show that the change caused by the Internet bi deeply ingrained:

"The figure includes all those over the age of six who had used the Internet during the last month. People aged six to 19 used the Internet the most with 96.2 percent of that age group going online, followed by people in their 20s with 95.3 percent and 30-somethings with 88.1 percent.

The main uses of the Internet were study for teenage respondents, shopping and reservation for people in their 20s or 30s, and reading news and magazines for the over-40s. Remarkably, the time people spent online went down from the year before, to 11.7 hours from the previous year’s 12.5 hours.

Overall the most popular use was searching for data and information with 70.7 percent, followed by gaming with 53.6 percent, e-mailing with 30.2 percent, entertainment with 20.8 percent, chat and messenger services with 17.6 percent, and shopping and reservation with 15.2 percent."

While some of those expressions are wide in their definition - search for data and information could range from looking up scientific facts to reading newspapers - the high level of penetration and the young age-group starting to use the Internet is amazing. While the article is a bit vague in the issue of how this penetration is changing communications structures, combined with other blog entries that we wrote (see above), it clearly highlights the potential path that Korea is going to take.

So, how is your country faring?

(By Asia Business Consulting)