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A Study about the Uses of Internet in Pakistan
Shahzad Ali Department of Mass Communication, B.Z.U, Multan, Pakistan E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +923457280723; Fax: +92619210068 Rooh-e-Aslam Department of Mass Communication, B.Z.U, Multan, Pakistan E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +923216394909; Fax: +92619210068 Abstract Internet is a multi-dimensional medium, which facilitate its users for different purposes. The basic objective of this research article is to find out the major uses of Internet, specifically in Pakistan. So a survey was conducted from the Internet user of Multan and the results are described in both qualitative & quantitative form to give a detailed explanation about online services and its facilitation for the users. This article is comprised of two sections. Section I highlights the uses and services of Internet, presented the relevant literature and hypotheses of the study. Section II presents the findings of the survey and conclusion of this study.
Keywords: Internet, Websites, Net users, Net cafes, ISP providers, Computer, Net hackers and Pc
The present age is the era of information technology and everywhere microwaves are scattered. Every body wants to explore itself with this information technology and happenings taking place of Internet for the purpose of education, awareness, entertainment and especially interaction with strangers. Nowhere, except in dreams have reality and fantasy contented for our attention more than on the net. (Nawaz, 2006, P.186) We are exposed to communication from mass media and we interact using new and converging technologies, i.e. cable, satellite, e-mail, electronic news gathering, multi media (computers) (Ibid, P.XIX). Modern information technology and its components, such as Internet and World Wide Webs (etc.) may claim superiority since their topology is neither one to one, nor one to many but it’s rather many to many. They have indeed enabled a kind of space-time convergence that brought countries and continents together, carrying profound effects on economic and government policies. At present besides all other channels Of communication, Internet has created countless challenges, which seriously gained the attention of the experts in the field (Ibid, P.2-3). The Internet has become impossible to ignore in the past two years. Even people who don’t own a computer and have no opportunity to “surf the net” could not have missed the news stories about 92
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008) the internet, many of which speculate about its effects on the ever increasing number of people who are online (Ang, 1991). But all the social scientists and communication experts are agreed upon the idea that new world of “instant computer technology” “information revolution” and “global village” is greatly dependent upon the internet or World Wide Web in which speed and quickness is associated with technology. (Nasir,, 2001) What is Mass Media? Generally the term “mass media” refers to any medium of communication-a newspaper, radio, motion pictures, television, designed to reach the masses and that tends to set standards, ideals and aims of the masses. The distinctive features of any mass media undertaking are the dissemination of the information and ideas to the public, or a portion there of (Bulmler, & Katz, 1974). What is Internet? On the other hand, the “internet” is a “giant network which interconnects innumerable smaller groups of linked computer networks” or which virtually covers the entire globe, can either be through the use of a computer or computer terminal that is directly (and usually permanently) connected to a computer network linked to the net Or through the use of a personal computer. With modem to connect over a telephone line to a larger computer network that is itself directly or indirectly connected to the Internet. (Chaffee &Mutz, 1998) But the rational is the Internet access provided merely as carrier of transmitting messages. It doesn’t create the messages/ information nor transmit the messages to the general public as mass media do, and the publication of the messages or stories carried by the internet are transmitted to the computer owner, through the access provider, is decided by the sender or the interlinked networks. Mobile as the 7th mass media is as much superior to the Internet, as TV is to radio. Because today there are three times as many mobile phones as personal computers and over a quarter of all Internet access is already from mobile phones (Krole, 1994). Twice as many people use messaging on a phone (SMS text messaging) as use email on the web. The global system, which can be accessed and used at an extremely personal level, provides us with a unique platform for interaction- a platform that is altering how we communicate. If it started out as a network of networks, the Internet has become the medium of media, or Meta medium. It is a communication system that serves as a platform for older media, including telephony, print and broadcasting. But more than that, it now enables us to operate on both ends of traditional mass media. We can now both send and receive live audio or video feeds, enabling us to both have a television or radio set and a television or radio station on our desktop. Once you have the requisite software components installed, you can quickly and easily switch between sending email, listening to streaming audio, and broadcasting a video feed-all without moving from your computer (Adams & Clark, 2001, P.29).
The Concept of the old and the New Media
Marshal Mcluhan noted that the content of a medium is usually taken from another medium, same is in the case of new media, content typically comes from old media before it. Our understanding of new media comes largely from looking into the “rear-view mirror” as Mcluhan observed. We will continue to use old media as we developed the new. If we asked is new Media television or computer or telephone line, a fiber optic cable, or a wireless data link? The answer could be it is all of these, and more (Jones, 2003, P.1-2). The problem with the Internet (New Media) is that it is (and up to some extent has) changed communication and most communication theorists don’t want change. They want to stick to the 93
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) traditional (old) Media of broadcasts and print Media. But the communication theorist must understand that the Internet is a much-needed advantage in the communication world. According to Morris and Christine Ogan (Indiana University) “if they disregard the research potential of the Internet, their theories about communication will be less useful”. (Cebular, 1996) As TV, newspapers and radio brought changes to the communication then the changes by the Internet are also obvious. With the Internet, researchers can rethink mass Media definitions. One cannot label the Internet as a whole a Mass Medium, but must label it a Mass Medium. Situation by situation it involves many different forms of communication. It forms interpersonal, mass and interpersonal and Mass Communication. With this variety of Communications, Technological Determinism can be developed and changed. (Boyd& Scanlon, 1991) The Internet’s Source-Message-Receiver model is same like the model of traditional mass communication. Model sources of messages vary from one-person emails, to list serve’s, to groups of specific people in a profession. The message can be a story, or simply conversation (chat room). Receivers differ from one to millions, depending on who is answering e-mails, or checking homepages (Cebular, 1996). So we are seeing Internet, in some form, getting entrenched within the contexts other than PC’s. This is going to lead to a world of opportunities. Using Internet for brand related applications than it would be amazing. A wide range of digital applications is opening up. From SMS to multi-purpose KIOSKS (including ATMs) we are seeing the emergence of a new mass Medium. (Barroah, 2001) Major Uses of Internet As any online user knows, the Internet has grown at a blazing speed. It was only in the mid 1990s that the Internet became a reality for average computer users, but since that time, the Internet has grown rapidly and it affects almost every area of our lives. Estimates show that there would be about 165 million online users in United States till 2002. The rapid growth of Internet has affected research in all types of businesses, including mass media research (Wimmer& Dominick, 2003). But we can say that the effects of the Internet are obvious in almost every field of Human Life. The Internet has had a dramatic affect on the way people communicate, conduct business, and process information, and it has affected mass media and research as well. For instance, the Internet has: • Created new methods for gathering Mass Media data (Web search). • Changed the way researchers search for and disseminate information. • Simplified collaboration and interaction among researchers. • Provided new material for analysis (Ibid) In spite of research, Internet offers exciting opportunities and possibilities for users like: • Use of broadband Internet access people can easily download movies, songs, games, informative data about new trends, cooking recipes, etc. From any library or organization of the world. • Interaction with the different peoples with the help of chat rooms, e-mails, e-cards, net SMS, etc. one can easily communicate in less expensive way. • E-commerce – involves buying and selling goods and services across the Internet, rather than traditional outlets such as retail stores etc., also called online marketing to reach the potential buyers across the globe through Internet. (Jones, 2003, P.162) • Online journalism-offers a level of interactivity-direct communication between news organizations and audiences made possible by news forums (Ibid P. 356.). Publishing a high volume daily newspaper is an intricate business requiring the synchronization of many different activities. Publishing online can both open new avenues in information dissemination and build a more dynamic relationship with the reader. This provides 94
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008) immediacy, multi-paging, multi media, flexible delivery platforms, and facilities like archiving. (Adams & Clark, 2001, PP.29-32) • Learning and sharing cultures-Mcluhan believed that Hollywood and the industry of advertisers and marketing specialists provided the content for collective hallucination. Many media were deliberately used to manufacture demand by saturating popular culture with commercial messages. The resulting polluted mental environment was the most dangerous consequence of many new Media (Jones, 2003, P.305). Likewise the concepts of westernization, global culture, pop culture and feminism are penetrated in the developing countries with the help of New Media. • Net conferencing-as conference is a task-oriented meeting between two or more people. Likewise net conferencing mediated by network computers, with or without video or its like interpersonal or small group communication through which multinational companies work all over the globe and big celebrities transmit their messages to their associate by sitting in any corner of the world and get connected via the internet. (Adams& Clark, 2001) • Researching on the Internet locating the exact data according to your needs by net. Numbers of websites are available for the students / researchers all over the world to get any kind of academic or non-academic information from the Internet. Since these tools search through vast databases, they are more likely to give you too many results than not enough. (Ibid) • Web creating / designing – every individual or organization can easily creates its own web site and get connected with the world and be the member of exciting cyber space literally wrap yourself in media and not have to see what’s really going on around you (William Gibson) (http://www.w3c.com). • Online books/E-Books -one cannot only consult E-newspaper and e-magazines but lots of books are also available online. Online booksellers give you a variety of books, which can be purchased online (http://www.amazon/e-books.com). • Internet radio and recordings- making the airwaves surfer friendly. As the speed of the net has been increased, it has made it possible for richer media to be transmitted over the web. No longer limit to text, we can now send audio and video as well. But one of the more significant advances has been the development of streaming audio (files can be playing during down loads) (http://realaudio/realoneplayer.internetradio). • Internet film – micro cinema movement- term coined in 1991 is a community of independent film makers who produce everything from animated shorts to feature length movies at a fraction of the cost of the major studios. With digital equipment, these films are now rivaling the quality of multimillion-dollar productions. Web as distribution medium, the micro cinema community is rapidly growing (http://www.automfilms.com). The aforesaid uses also shows that how Internet is affecting human life and provide new insights in the field of mass media. Review of the literature With the development of new communication technologies, researchers seem to use the patterns of research established for existing technologies to explain the uses and effects of the New Media. Research in-group communication, e.g. has been used to examine the group uses of e-mail networks (Sproull& kiesler, 1991). They also studied the concepts of status, decision making quality, social presence, social control and group norms as they have been affected by a technology that permitted certain in-group communication. This kind of transfer of research patterns from one communication technology to another is not usual. Wartellar and Revees (1985) studied the history of American Mass Communication research in the area of children and the Media came to now that with each new 95
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) Medium, the effects of content on children emerged as a social problem in public debate. So this study provided new insights in the fields of Mass Communication and Internet as a mass Medium. (Wartellar and Revees ,1985) Now-a-days, many newer communication technologies enhance opportunities for individuals to choose and tailor their media experiences, use and gratifications perspective have allowed us precisely to know how the “new media” differ from the “old media” as far as the audience’s media routines are concerned in this era of information technologies. According to this idea audience members are active in selecting and processing media content (WWW.encartadirectory/newmedia/technology-20.com). In Blumler and Katz’s (1974) landmark collection of uses and gratification studies, a body of research addressed now audience’s media consumption pattern are related to the people report from various media. The simplest set by media researchers’ have specified just four major gratifications; Entertainment, personal relationships (companionship), personal identity and surveillance. (Bryant& Zillmann, 1994, P.324) 1. Later refinements of their approach acknowledge that audience is fluid constituencies, occupying various “social positions” or roles at different times of day and in different settings. (Ibid. P-350) A research study, “Functional alternative in obtaining news online: An experimental study of three United States Internet newspaper by Xigen Li describes the technology developed for presenting information on the web provides more dynamic ways in distributing news content online. News web designing match audiences expectation and receive positive response and whether a specific approach to deliver news information really facilitate news retrieval from a user’s perspective remain questions mostly unanswered. The writer is of the view that a clear understanding of the factors that produce effective news web site is indispensable to improve news delivery and accessibility of news content on the Internet. Market analysis of online newspaper showed only the Internet newspapers that excel in perceived utility and hence gratification obtained will win more readers. The researcher also devised clearer rules for web designing (Li, 2003). Wilson Lowrey and Jinmyung Choi in the research article “The web news story and cognitive flexibility” find out that the cognitive flexibility theory (CFT) format is moderately beneficial for news audiences because of the reader’s prior knowledge. CFT was designed to aid the instruction of complex or advanced, knowledge areas. Among other formats readers viewed the CFT story as most enjoyable, but readers were least likely to understand the CFT story as journalism story. Readers who crisscross a knowledge area through multiple cases and multiple perspectives develop more thorough and flexible schema than readers of non-CFT formats (Lowrey & Choi, 2006). A study entitled “Effects of growing internet newspapers on circulation of United States print newspapers” by Zhanwi Cao and Xigen Li shows that new interactive technologies produced a profound effect in United States society and after the emergence of new media some media analysts predicted that “printed newspaper would disappear in the near future” (Mcculloch, 1995; P. 56). As Internet grew, print newspaper users decreased a bit. But this article finds out that the growth of new media is not at the expense of the older media. The online newspapers were considered by many newspapers publishers as an opportunity to help reverse the trend in declining readership rather than a threat to the print newspaper and are opening up broader prospects for the newspaper industry. Perhaps there are some evidences on the effect of Internet newspapers on circulation of the print media. The online newspapers as a new medium are still developing as more technological innovations are implemented (Cao& Li, 2006). Hsiang Iris Chyl and Dominic L. Lasorsa in their research article entitled “The market relation between online and print newspapers: the case of Austins Teya” explains that since the internet started gaining popularity in the mid 1990s, the newspaper industry has been experimenting with this new medium by publishing electronic editions, online. In 2003, round about 1,500 North American daily newspapers had launched web sites. Unlike pure play Internet content providers who devote every thing to the online venture, newspaper publishers have to worry about the market relation between their 96
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008) online offerings and their core product the print newspaper. This study was conducted in Austin the capital of Texas and one of the four most wired cities in the United States with higher online penetrations compared with other metropolitan areas. Although these characteristics also may make Austin a good indicator of coming trends elsewhere, especially in terms of internet usage so the results are very much in line with hypothesis for study. But it shows that 83% of online readers also read the print edition (Chyi& Lasorsd, 2006). A research study entitled “utilities of online and offline news use” by Carolyn A Lin and Michael B. Salwen describe that newspaper reading represents perhaps the most traditional means of acquiring news and public affairs information, online news threaten the traditional medium. To see cognitive and affective differences in news medium preferences this study is grounded in uses and gratifications framework by analyzing whether the use of offline and online news sources involve the same or different perceived utilities for acquiring the news? Even though online news was much valued for its agility when it comes to providing a convenient headline news service and richer visual content that is unmatched by an offline newspaper, the printed words affixed in a copy remain cherished for their substantive continuity. Online news outlets, at this stage of their evolution, appear to be largely complementary and ancillary to the printed newspapers, when it comes to audience uses and gratifications of the audiences’ news consumption experience (Lin & Salwen, 2006).In a research article “internet newspaper’s public forum and user involvement” by Xianyi Ye and Xingen Li analyzed that Internet is a new medium that has the potential to improve communication between journalists and audience, thus advocating democracy through user participation. However, media organizations don’t necessarily exploit this opportunity effectively. The goal of this study was to investigate online newspaper’s public forum as a tool to engage audience in public discourse. A content analysis of 120 U.S Internet newspapers found 39.2% of the Internet newspapers offered discussion forums. A majority of newspapers (70.2%) with public forums had less than 15-discussion forums newspapers size had significant effect on diversity of public forums. The findings suggest that forums of the Internet newspapers have yet to be developed as an effective tool to advance public discourse and democracy deliberation. The Internet has the potential to be the greatest First Amendment Tool in history. Public forums of the Internet newspaper, one of the innovative devices to get audience and journalists involved in public discourse have attracted a number of users. However it will take more time for both readers and journalists to adapt to the Internet forums, which might help promote discussion on issues of public concerns and allow newspapers to play a more effective role in advancing democracy (Li, 2006, P.256.). In their book “youth media” Bill Osger, Routledge Taylor Francis Group writes, the Internet has become the primary communication tool for teens (teenagers), surpassing even the telephone among some groups according to a study by AOL (America Online). The national survey of more than 6,700 teens and their parents conducted by AOL subsidiary digital market services, Inc., found that 81% of teens between the ages of 12-17 use the internet to email friends or relatives. While 70% use it for instant messaging both from one’s computer and via wireless devices among older teens (18-19 yeas) is high or jump to 91% for emails and 83% for instant messaging. (Totally wired: youth media). In short, news media and communication technologies have come to play an important role in young people’s lives (Osger, 2002). A book “democracy and New Media” edited by Henry Jekins and David Thorburn describes that news and information in the digital age are disseminated and sought by Internet. So far the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) cant set an agenda, primarily because the audience remains relatively small when compared with that of newspapers and television and many online publications depend on major brand names as the primary sources of information. Therefore the broadcast outlets and newspapers that operate the websites still maintain control of the setting of the journalistic agendas and the public debate. Nevertheless, online journalism stands to alter dramatically the traditional role of the reporter and editor. The users can check reporter’s 97
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) stories by researching the original documents and comparing it to those of others by scanning news publications throughout the country archives also become easily accessible (Jekins& Thorburn, 2004). Prof. Ramesh Chandra in “Communication Media and social changes” says, “New Communication technologies have the capacity to navigate from one media to another to choose between the multiple communication tools and adapt strategies to a particular situation”. Internet provides enormous opportunities to the people for exchanging cultures to the members of different social groups. Greater developments contribute to the growing of the cemetery of the development, the striking vision of dust over computers that only worked a few months. The challenges of communication are constantly evolving, as new possibilities but also new needs emerge. The communicator in this age of multiple communication tools and flexibility to use communication strategies in various cultural contexts needs much expertise, training and skills. Communicator must be equipped with the understanding that technology is just a tool, which only supports the communication process, and we should not totally dependent on it. Internet is the product of scientific research and intellectual development, while the actual experiences of the Internet as a tool for social change is only two or three years old (Chandra, 2004). A research study on “internet and recent changes in conventional journalism” by Kiran Khan find out that Internet changed the form and use of conventional journalism. Due to communication technology the exchange of thoughts and access to information has been very easy. And this new technology has immense impact upon the traditional media. But still the role of newspapers in Pakistani society cannot be denied. (Khan, 2004)
The study would be based on the following hypotheses; these hypotheses have been developed after reviewing the relevant literature. H1: People would be more dependent on Internet for the purpose of information and academic facilitation than any other purpose like entertainment. H2: The teachers will use Internet for information while the students use it for entertainment. H3: The use of Internet for online journalism would be greater than for any other online service. H4: Most of the users would use Internet for chatting and match making. Research Methodology This research study would be based on the survey from Internet users, to check the general trend about the uses of Internet. Sample selection For this a sample of 500 Internet users was selected from the city of Multan. As internet is the medium of literate people so the sample was comprised of 200 university students, (100male+ 100 female). This category includes the student of Multan’s biggest university Bahauddin Zakariya University and 25 students were selected from different departments for e.g. Computer Science, MBA, Agriculture, Engineering, English, Under Graduate (B.S), Mass Communication & International Relations. 200 College Students (100 male + 100 Female) for getting the opinion of college students, the researcher visit different colleges of Multan including Government college of Bosan Road, Punjab College, Government Degree College for Women, International Degree College Katchery Road, Civil Lines College & Central College Multan. 50 Teachers (both male and female) from different colleges and universities. 50 Computer Professionals (both male & female) including Lab Attendants, Computer In charges in banks and offices. 98
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008)
Table No 1: Why do you use Internet?
Respondents Options For entertainment For information For academic facilitation To emails/ chatting To contact relatives For multiple purposes Office work Grand total University students 16 8% 51 25.5% 57 28.5% 22 11% 13 6.5% 41 20.5% 00 0 200 100% College students 36 57 05 23 22 57 0 200 18% 28.5% 2.5% 11.5% 11% 28.5% 0 100% Teachers 0 3 7 10 5 25 0 50 0% 6% 14% 20% 10% 50% 0 100% Computer professionals 0 100% 10 20% 0 0% 7 14% 3 6% 9 18% 21 42% 50 100% Total 52 121 69 62 43 132 21 500 10.4% 24.2% 13.8% 12.4% 8.6% 26.4% 4.2% 100%
This table indicates that the 10.4% (52) users use Internet for entertainment, 24.2% (121) for information, 13.8% (69) for academic facilitation, 12.4% (62) for emails and chatting 8.6% (43) to contact their relatives, 26.4% (132) for multipurpose, 4.2% (21) for office work. In-depth study of this table highlights that 8% (16) University students and 18% (36) college students, use internet for entertainment among the users who use internet for information 25.5% (51) University students, 28.5% (57) college students, 6% (3) teachers and 20% (10) Computer professionals users who said for academic facilitation compromises of 28.5% (57) university students, 2.5% (5) college students, 14% (7) teachers. Users who use internet for emails /chatting were 11% (22) University students, 11.5% (23) college students, 20% (10) teachers and 14% (7) Computer professionals. Among the respondents who said to contact relatives was 6.5% (13) University students, 11% (22) college students, 10% (5) teachers and 6% (3) Computer professionals. While 42% (21) Computer professionals used it for their office work, remaining 20.5% (41) University students, 28.5% (57) college students, 50% (25) Teachers and 18% (9) Computer professionals used internet for all above or for multiple purpose. The first hypothesis predicted that people would be more dependent on the Internet for the purpose of information and academic facilitation than for any other purpose. This hypothesis will partially approve according to the data of this table. As it shows 24.2% (121) users use it for information and 13.8% (69) use it for academic facilitation. This proportion is greater than those who use it for any other purpose. The 2nd hypothesis predicted that the teachers will use internet for information while students use it for entertainment, is not supported the data of this table as the proportion of the students to use it for information / academic facilitation is greater than the teachers who mostly use it for multipurpose.
Table No 2: Have you ever download any movie, song or game from the Internet?
Respondents Options Yes No Grand total University students 126 74 200 63% 37% 100% College students 115 85 200 57.5% 42.5% 100% Teachers 23 27 50 46% 54% 100% Computer professionals 28 22 50 56% 44% 100% 292 208 500 Total 58.4% 41.6% 100%
The data of this table mention that in response to this question, 58.4% (292) respondents said “yes” they download anything from the Internet including 63% (126) university students, 57.5% (115) college students, 46% (23) teachers, 56% (28) were computer experts. In contrast, 41.6% respondents 99
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) said no as they didn’t download anything from the internet consists of 37% (74) university students, 42.5% (85) college students, 54% (27) teachers and 44% (22) were computer professionals.
Table No. 3: Do you use Internet for any of these online services?
Respondents Options For ticketing For online banking Paying utility bills Online journalism Any other purposes None of these For Multipurpose Grand total University students 15 14 12 74 21 45 19 200 7.5% 7% 6% 37% 10.5% 22.5% 9.5% 100% College students 2 6 9 48 89 46 00 200 1% 3% 4.5% 24% 44.5% 23% 0 100% Teachers 9 3 4 18 6 4 6 50 18% 6% 8% 36% 12% 8% 12% 100 Computer professionals 8 16% 10 20% 9 18% 19 38% 00 00 00 00% 4 8% 50 100% Total 34 33 34 159 116 95 29 500 6.8% 6.6% 6.8% 31.8% 23.2% 19% 5.8% 100
The figures in this table reveal that 6.8% (34) respondents use internet for the purpose of ticketing, 6.6% (33) for online banking, 6.8% (34) for paying utility bills, 31.8% (159) for online journalism, 23.2% (116) use for any other purpose, 19%(95) said none of these and 5.8% (29) uses internet for multiple purposes. According to the detailed elaboration of this table 7.5% (15) were university students, 1% (02) college students, 18% (19) teachers and 16% (8) were computer professionals who said they use internet for online ticketing. People who used the service of online banking were 7% (14) university students, 3% (6) college students, 6% (3) teachers, and 20% (10) were computer professionals 20% (10). People who use Internet for paying utility bills included 6% (12) university students, 4.5% (9) college students, 8% (4) teachers and 18% (09) were computer professionals. Most of the people 31.8% use internet to get benefit of journalism online consisted of 37% (74) university students, 24% (48) college students, 36% (18) teachers and 38% (19) were computer experts. Some respondents used Internet for any other purpose including 10.5% (21) university students, 44.5% (89) college students and 12% (06) teachers. According to 22.5% (45) university students, 23% (46) college students, and 8% (4) teachers, they didn’t use Internet for any of the above-mentioned services. In the end the people who used Internet for more than one or multiple uses were 9.5% (9) university students, 12% (06) teachers and 8% (04) were compute professionals. The data in the table supports H3 that predicted that the use of Internet for online journalism would be greater than any other online service. It is strongly supported by the data in this table because the proportion of the users to use the service of online journalism is greater than the usage of other services as 31.8(159) users said they read online newspapers (also see table no.4)
Table No. 4: Have you ever read online newspaper?
Options Yes No Grand total Respondents Teachers 39 78% 11 22% 50 100%
University students 127 63.5% 73 36.5% 200 100%
College students 107 53.5% 93 46.5% 200 100%
Computer professionals 45 90% 5 10% 50 100%
318 182 500
Total 63.6% 36.4% 100%
In response to this question 63.6% (318) people said yes they read online newspapers, consist of 63.5% (127) university students, 53.5% (107) college students, 78% (39) teachers and 90% (45) computer professionals. On the other hand 36.4% (184) of the total (500) respondents said no, they 100
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008) didn’t use online newspaper and they were 36.5% (73) university students, 46.5% (93) college students, 22% (11) teachers and just 10% (5) computer professionals.
Table No. 5: Do you use Internet to enhance the general knowledge?
Options Yes No Grand total University students 186 93% 14 7% 200 100% College students 146 73% 54 27% 200 100% Respondents Teachers 46 92% 4 8% 50 100%
Computer professionals 39 78% 11 22% 50 100%
417 83 500
Total 83.4% 16.6% 100%
The table No. 5 shows that 83.4%(417) respondents were of the view that yes Internet increases the general knowledge, including 93% (186) university students, 73% (146) college students, 92%(46) teachers, and 78% (39) were computer professionals. While 16.6% (83) were disagreed and said “No” consisted of 7% (14) university students, 27% (54) college students, 8% (4) teachers and 22% (11) were computer professionals.
Table No. 6: Do you use Internet to obtain any of the following information?
Options University students 25 12.5% 56 2.8% 6 3% 15 7.5% 7 3.5% 52 26% 39 19.5% 200 100% College students 16 43 03 20 25 68 25 200 8% 21.5% 1.5% 10% 12.5% 34% 12.5% 100% Respondents Teachers 2 30 0 0 0 9 9 50 4% 60% 0 0 0 18% 18% 100% Computer professionals 5 10% 17 34% 2 4% 0 0 0 0 1 2% 25 50% 50 100% Total 48 146 11 35 32 130 98 500 9.6% 29.2% 2.2% 7% 6.4% 26% 19.6% 100%
Fashion New trends Interior decoration Cooking recipes Beauty tips For all above Any other Grand total
The table No. 6 highlights that total 9.6% (48) users obtain information regarding fashion and they were 12.5% (25) university student’s 8% (16) college students, 4% (02) teachers and 10% (05) computer experts. Users who used Internet for the information of new trends were 29.2% (146) further divided into 28% (56) university students, 21.5% (43) college students, 60% (30) teachers and 34% (17) professionals. Just 2.2% got information regarding interior decoration including 03% (6) university students and 1.5% (03) college students. 7% said for cooking recopies – 7.5% (15) university students, and 10% (20) college students and they were female users. Those who got information about beauty tips were also female and their number 6.4% (32) classified as 3.5% (7) university students and 12.5% (25) were college students. 26% users said to get information of all above things and they were 26% (52) university students, 34% (68) college students, 18% (09) teachers and 2% (1) computer professional. Remaining 19.6% total said they use Internet for obtaining information other then the above-mentioned categories, including 19.5% university students, 12.5% (25) college students, 18% (09) teachers and 50% (25) professionals.
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008)
Table No. 7: What do you think that Internet is…?
Respondents Options Blessing Mix blessing Social evil Grand total University students 30 15% 110 55% 60 30% 200 100% College students 48 93 59 200 24% 46.5% 29.5% 100% 2 21 27 50 Teachers 4% 42% 54% 100% Computer professionals 7 33 10 50 14% 66% 20% 100% 87 257 156 500 Total 17.4% 51.4% 31.2% 100%
This table highlights that 17.4% (87) users said Internet is a blessing, 51.4% (257) said it is a mix blessing and 31.2% (156) it’s a social evil. Respondents who said Internet is a blessing were 15% (30) university students, 24% (48) college students, 4% (2) teachers and 14% (7) computer professional. While 55% (110) university students, 46.5% (93) college students, 42% (21) teachers and 66% (33) computer professionals were of the view that it’s a mix blessing. Remaining 30% (60) university student, 29.5% (59) college students, 54% (57) teachers and 20% (10) computer professionals said Internet is a social evil.
Table No. 8: Why you chat on Internet?
Respondents Options For contacting relatives in abroad For interaction with people of world For searching the life partner For dating For killing time Any time All above Grand total University students 37 61 11 8 37 26 20 200 18.5% 30.5% 5.5% 4% 18.5% 13% 10% 100% College students 77 23 22 15 18 29 16 200 38.5% 11.5% 11% 7.5% 9% 14.5% 8% 100% Teachers 19 13 00 00 1 7 10 50 38% 26% 0 0 2% 14% 20% 100% Computer professionals 8 5 2 0 2 18 15 50 16% 10% 4% 0 4% 36% 30% 100% 141 102 35 23 58 80 61 500 Total 28.2% 20.4% 7% 4.6% 11.6% 16% 12.2% 100%
The data in this table highlights that 28.2% (141) respondents chat on the internet for containing their relatives, 20.4% (102) said for interaction with the people in the world, 7% (35) chat for searching life partner, 4.6% (23) for dating, 11.6% (58) for killing time, 16% (80) mentioned for any other activity and 12.2% (61) for all above. Among the respondents who chat for contacting relatives, 18.5% (37) were university students, 38.5% (77) were college students, 38% (19) teachers and 16% (08) were computer professionals. Those who chat from interaction with the people of the world comprises of 30.5% (61) university students, 11.5% (23) college students, 13% (26) teachers and 10% (5) were computer professionals. Those who chat for searching life partners, including 5.5% (11) university students, 11% (22) college students and 4% (2) computer experts. Those who chat for chatting were 4% (8) university students, 7.5% (15) college students. Respondents who reported to chat for killing time were 18.5% (37) university students and 9% (18) college students, 2% (1) teachers and 4% (2) computer experts. While 13% (26) university students, 14.5% (19) college students, 14% (7) teachers, 36% (18) computer professionals, who chat for any other purpose. And the remaining 10% (22) university students, 8% (16) college students, 20% (10) teachers and 30% (15) computer professionals chat for all above purposes.
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Table No. 9: What do you like to prefer among the following options in spare timings?
Respondents Options To visit your friends /relatives To use internet To play a game on computer To watch movie To use any other media All above Grand total University students 50 25% 51 25.5% 10 5% 37 18.5% 31 15.5% 21 10.5% 200 100% College students 32 16% 48 24% 22 11% 26 13% 56 28% 16 8% 200 100% Teachers 27 13 0 5 5 0 50 54% 26% 0 10% 10% 0 100% Computer professionals 8 16% 10 20% 4 8% 6 12% 7 14% 15 30% 50 100% Total 117 122 36 74 99 52 500 23.4% 24.4% 7.2% 14.8% 19.8% 10.4% 100%
This table describes that 23.4% (117) respondents preferred to visit friends/relatives, including 25% (50) university students, 16% (32) college students, 54% (27) teachers and 16% computer professionals. Total 22.4% (122) preferred to use internet, comprises of 25.5% (51) university students, 24% (48) college students, 26% (13) teachers and 20% (10) computer professionals. While 7.2% (36) prefer to play a game on computer including 5% (10) university students, 11% (22) college students, and 8% (4) computer professionals. Those who prefer to watch a movie were 14.8% (74) comprises of 18.5 (37) university students, 13% (26) college students, 10% (5) teachers and 12% (6) were computer professionals. The respondents who prefer to use any other media (traditional media) were 19.8% (99) total comprises of 15.5% (31) university students, 28% (56) college student, 10% (5) teachers and 14% (7) were computer professionals. The remaining 10.5% (52) said they use all above including 10.5% (21) university students, 8% (16) college students and 30% (15) were computer professionals.
Table No. 10: Do you think that mostly people use Internet for chatting or match making (online marriages)?
Options Yes No Grand Total Respondents Teachers 21 42% 29 58% 50 100%
University students 113 56.5% 87 43.5% 200 100%
College students 164 82% 36 18% 200 100%
Computer professionals 15 30% 35 70% 50 100%
Total 313 62.6% 187 37.4% 500 100%
This table highlights that 62.6% (313) respondents said “Yes” mostly people use Internet for match making and 37.4% (187) said “No” they didn’t agree with it. Those who said yes were 56.5% (113) university students, 82% (164) college students, 42% (21) teachers and 30% (15) computer professionals. While Those who said “No” were 43.5% (87) university students, 18% (36) college students, 58% (29) teachers and 70% (35) computer professionals. The data in this table strongly support H4 that predicted that most of the people use Internet for chatting or match making. As the figures in this table show that the proportion of the respondents who said Yes is greater (62.6%-313) than those who said No (37.4%-187).
Table No. 11: Do you think that Internet enhance the educational capabilities of the students?
Respondents options Yes No Up to some extent Grand Total University students 130 13 57 200 65% 6.5% 28.5% 100% College students 91 34 75 200 45.5% 17% 37.5% 100% Teachers 27 6 17 50 54% 12% 34% 100% Computer professionals 19 38% 11 22% 20 40% 50 100% Total 267 64 169 500 53.4% 12.8% 33.8% 100%
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) This table describes that total 53.4 %(267) users said “yes” the Internet enhance their educational capabilities of the students, 12.8 %(64) said “NO” and 33.8% said up to some extent. 65 %(130) University students, 45.5% (91) College students, 54 %(27) teachers and 38 %(19) Computer professionals said “YES”. While 6.5 %(13) University students, 17 %(34) College students, 12 %(06) teachers and 22 %(11) Computer professionals said NO. And the remaining 28.5 %(57) University students, 37.5 %(75) College students, 34 %(17) Teachers and 40 %(20) Computer professionals said up to some extent.
Table No. 12: Do you think that Internet is a best medium to shrink the boundaries of the world?
Respondents options Yes No Up to some extent Grand total University students 153 76.5% 27 13.5% 20 10% 200 100% College students 116 84 0 200 58% 42% 0% 100% Teachers 35 10 5 50 70% 20% 10% 100% Computer professionals 19 38% 11 22% 20 40% 50 100% Total 323 132 45 500 64.6% 26.4% 9.1% 100%
The data in the table describes that 64.6% (323) users said yes Internet is best medium to shrink the boundaries of the world, 26.4% (132) said no and 9.1% (45) said up to some extent. The users who said ‘yes’ were comprises of 76.5% (153) university students, 58% (116) college students, 70% (35) teachers and 38% (19) computer professionals. Those who said No ,including 13.5% (27) university students, 42% (84) college students, 20% (10) teachers and 22% (11) computer professionals. Respondents who tick up to some extent were 10% (20) university students, 10% (5) teachers and 40% (20) computer professionals.
Section – II
Qualitative Analysis In response to the open ended questions of the questionnaire, all the respondents gave different opinions, which cannot be quantified in tabulated or graphical form. So to cover every aspect of the findings of the survey, there is the descriptive analysis of respondents’ opinions: Q: What kind of Web Sites you visit mostly? The users categorized the web sites in three basic kinds. 1. Informative 2. Entertaining 3. Educational By informative they meant the websites related to general knowledge, current affairs and news websites. Websites related to entertainment include those that contain showbiz, greeting cards, fashion, efilms and sports etc. By Educational websites they meant the material, which helps them to get education and information about education, for, instance, the websites of different universities. Q: Mention the name of any five websites, which you visit mostly? Ans: In response to this question all the respondents mention different kinds of websites. So to make the data more understandable, there are the top five websites which majority consults. 104
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4 (2008) 1. www.google.com 2. www.yahoo.com 3. www.msn.com 4. www.orkut.com 5. www.indiafm.com Other than these websites the respondents also reported to consult the following websites most of the times or in other words majority of the respondents also visit these websites. 1. www.wikipedia.com 2. www.santabanta.com 3. www.apniisp.com 4. www.findfast.com 5. www.espnstar.com 6. www.digitallibrary.com 7. www.promo.net.com 8. www.loveurdu.com 9. www.urdu.point.ocm 10. www.pakipassion.com 11. www.wallpaper4u.com 12. www.funmaza.com 13. www.jstor.com 14. www.investopedia.com 15. www.fullknowledge.com 16. www.hec.edu.pk.com 17. www.brain.net.com. 18. www.dailydawn.com 19. www.bzu.edu.pk.com 20. www.nawa-i-waqt.com 21. www.pu.edu.pk.com Male respondents said they consult websites related to sports, information, news & current affairs and entertainment. On the other hand female respondents said they mostly consult websites related to fashion, new trends, information and entertainment. While the teachers and computer professionals said they mostly consult informative websites and those related with their work routine.
It was found after collecting the basic data that different users use Internet at different times, in different environment and for different purposes. So that Internet has a dual function in our society. The Internet or new technology itself is not bad; it is the usage of any technology that makes it good or bad. Overall Internet is a mix blessing as 51.4% (257) users also agreed upon it. Mainly 24.2% users use it for information, 13.8% for academic facilitation, 10.4% for entertainment, 12.4% for chatting, 8.6% to contract their relatives, 4.2% for office work and 26.4% for multipurpose. In getting benefit from different online services, the data shows the trend is not as much developed in Pakistan and except online journalism (31.8% users) very few people go online for online banking (6.6% users), for ticketing (6.8% users), for paying utility bill (6.8% users), for multiple purpose (5.8% users), for any other purpose (23.2%) and 19% users said none of these. Mostly people were motivated to use Internet from interpersonal relations. The results of the study indicate that different users use Internet at different times, for different purposes and in different environments. Mostly people use Internet for multi purposes and for information and academic facilitation or according to their needs and requirements. Teenagers or 105
European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 6, Number 4(2008) college student use it for entertainment or killing time while university students use it for information as it is the requirement of their studies or to get data about their studies. The first hypothesis predicted that people would be more dependent on Internet for the purpose of information and academic facilitation than for any other purpose. And this hypothesis is partially approved. The data described that 24.2% (121) users reported to use Internet for information and 13.8% (69) respondents use it for academic facilitation. While the majority of the respondents 26.4% (132) use it for multi purposes. The second hypothesis states that the teachers & computer professionals would use Internet for information while the students use it for entertainment. The results shows that this prediction is rejected as the proportion of students using internet for information and academic facilitation is greater as compared to teachers. 25.5% (51) university students and 28.5% (57) college students use Internet for information while just 6% teachers use it for information. On the other hand 28.5% (57) university students and 2.5% (5) college students use Internet for academic facilitation and just 14% (7) teachers use it academic facilitation. As most of the 50% (25) teachers responded to use Internet for multi purposes. The third hypothesis predicted that the use of internet for online journalism would be greater than for other online services e.g. online banking, online ticketing or paying utility bills. The analysis of the results indicates that this hypothesis is supported by the data as the proportion of users use online journalism or consults Internet newspaper is greater than for other services. Total 31.8% (159) users / respondents use the services of online journalism, 23.2% (116) for other purpose and 5.8% (29) use for multipurpose. Just 6.8% (34) for ticketing, 6.6% (33) for online banking and 6.8% (34) for paying utility bills while 19% (95) said none of these. The fourth hypothesis predicted that most of the people would use Internet for chatting or match making. This hypothesis is accepted and the respondents are agreeing with this hypothesis. The data shows 62.6% (313) respondents said yes mostly they use it for chatting or match making and 37.4% (187) respondents said no, the users use internet for other purposes as well. Overall the study shows that Internet is a mass medium, which has so many uses and benefits. There is a need of socialization for Pakistani society about the usage of new technology and the impact or effect of Internet of Internet is upon the heavy users not on those who use it for specific purposes or in a right direction. The crux of this study is that internet has both positive and negative effects, and its penetration in our society, is increasing rapidly, it is therefore suggested that there should be certain checks on the new generation (children, and adults specially) from the primary group of socialization like family, friends and relatives. Education and socialization can improve the positive usage of Internet in our society and government should also penalize the net Cafés, which promote vulgarity in our society through Internet.
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