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Internet and Social Life

In: English and Literature

Submitted By bella88
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internet 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922 0066-4308/04/0204-0000$14.00

Annu. Rev. Psychol. 2004. 55:X--X doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922 Copyright © 2004 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved


John A. Bargh and Katelyn Y.A. McKenna
New York University, New York, New York 10003; email:, Key Words communication, groups, relationships, depression, loneliness Abstract The Internet is the latest in a series of technological breakthroughs in interpersonal communication, following the telegraph, telephone, radio, and television. It combines innovative features of its predecessors, such as bridging great distances and reaching a mass audience. However, the Internet has novel features as well, most critically the relative anonymity afforded to users and the provision of group venues in which to meet others with similar interests and values. We place the Internet in its historical context, and then examine the effects of Internet use on the user’s psychological well-being, the formation and maintenance of personal relationships, group memberships and social identity, the workplace, and community involvement. The evidence suggests that while these effects are largely dependent on the particular goals that users bring to the interaction---such as self-expression, affiliation, or competition---they also interact in important ways with the unique qualities of the Internet communication situation. INTRODUCTION It is interactive: Like the telephone and the telegraph (and unlike radio or television), people can overcome great distances to communicate with others almost instantaneously [AU: Annual Reviews style is to cap the first letter of a complete sentence following colon.]. It is a mass medium: Like radio and television (and unlike the telephone or…...

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