The Internet As A Significant Other

    October 24, 2007

Close to one in four Americans say that the Internet can act as a significant other for some period of time, according to a new poll from 463 Communications and Zogby International.

 The percentage was highest among singles with 31 percent saying that the Internet could act as a substitute for a significant other. There was no difference between males and females but there was a divide based on political views.

Thirty-one percent of those who considered themselves "progressives" were open to the idea of the Internet acting as a significant other while just 18 percent who said they were "very conservative" would consider it a substitute.

Over half of Americans think that Internet content such as video should be controlled in some way by the government. Twenty-nine percent said that video should be regulated like television content and 24 percent said government should have an online rating system similar to that used by the movie industry. Thirty-six percent said that blocking of Internet video would be unconstitutional.

More than one in four Americans has a social networking profile on sites such as MySpace or Facebook. Seventy-eight percent of 18-24 year-olds report having a social networking profile.

Thirty-two percent of Democrats have a social networking presence and 22 percent of Republicans have the same. Just 14 percent say the Internet is an important part of their identity and 68 percent said it’s only how they identify themselves online.

"Some view the Internet as their new best friend, others as an increasingly powerful tool that can infect our youth with harmful images and thoughts and therefore must be controlled," said 463 partner Tom Galvin.

"Our challenge as a society is to let the Internet flourish as a dynamic force in our economy and communities while not chipping away at the fundamental freedoms that created the Internet in the first place."