Is the Internet Changing Social Life? It Seems the More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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Abstract

Although there has been a tremendous amount of discussion in the popular press about how the Internet is changing all facets of social life, research on the impact of the Internet is only beginning to emerge. A review of the studies reported in this issue suggests that the Internet may have had less impact on many aspects of social life than is frequently supposed. In many cases, the Internet seems to have created a new way of doing old things, rather than being a technology that changes the manner in which people live their lives. As a consequence, the policy implications of increasing Internet use may be less than is often believed.

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