The 2009 Symantec Online Living report is out and provides some interesting statistics on worldwide Internet use.

Among the key findings:

  • 92 per cent of Netizens use email to communicate with friends and family.
  • 42 per cent use Web cams.
  • 50 per cent of adults use social networking .
  • 70 per cent access photos online and use instant messaging.
  • 24 per cent use Twitter or a similar service.

Among the lesser, but nonetheless interesting, findings:

  • 60 per cent of online adults have made a friend this way and have an average of 41 online friends.
  • 20 per cent of adults flirt online.
  • 56 per cent have used the Internet to reconnect with old friends.
  • 14 per cent have rekindled romantic relationships.
  • 25 per cent have shared a secret online.
  • 20 per cent find it easier to discuss touchy subjects online than in person or by phone.
  • 20 per cent online adults sometimes criticize other people’s comments or ideas online.
  • 10 per cent sometimes make fun of (or flame) other people online.

Overall, a majority of those polled report that the Internet has enhanced their family lives and relationships:

  • 71 per cent report that the Internet makes keeping in touch with family easier.
  • 53 per cent report that it has improved the quality of communications.
  • 45 per cent report that the Internet has improved their family relationships overall.

Perhaps most tellingly, six out of every ten adults who use the Internet say they could not live without it.

You can read the full Online Living 09 report at the Symantec Web site. Note: It’s in .PDF format so you’ll need a recent version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.

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