• An investigation into internet use by 45-54 year olds

      Rayner, Linda A.; Richardson, Keith (University of Chester, 2009-09)
      This research set out to determine how frequently, and for what purpose, members of the 45-54 year old generation used the internet, specifically whether they used it to socialise and for domestic purposes more frequently than they did for educational and work related purposes. This area of research is particularly fascinating because members of that generation grew up in a world with no internet, to one in 2009 where there were an estimated 1.56 billion world-wide internet users. A non-experimental research design was chosen using a questionnaire issued by email. Participants had a choice of completing the questionnaire and posting it back or completing it online. To minimise the risk of unsuitable recruits, and given the specific age related nature of the pre-defined research sample, non-probability purposive sampling techniques were used to arrive at the sampling frame of convenience. The main findings were that respondents stated that they used the internet for socialising and domestic purposes more frequently than they did for work and educational purposes. Therefore the null hypothesis was rejected ( that: "45-54 year olds do not use the internet to socialise and for domestic purposes more frequently than they do for educational and work related activities"). A weak relationship was found between gender and internet usage. Males, on average, used the internet more frequently than females for both social & domestic and work & educational purposes. This finding was similar to that of other recent UK based research. No statistically significant differences in internet use were found between the main roles or professions of respondents. However internet use was found to increase as the level of educational qualification increased broadly in line with the findings of other research. Those with higher educational qualifications in this study used the internet significantly more for work and educational purposes. In addition those who lived in rural areas used the internet significantly more for work & educational purposes, but no statistically significant difference in frequency of internet uses was found for domestic & social purposes. Those from Greater Manchester were the most frequent users of the internet for domestic & social purposes and N. Wales were the lowest. Finally, respondents from married households with children were the most active internet users, but no significant differences were detected when exploring that and other household types. Other studies had found significant differences between household types with internet use increasing as the number of household members increased because their internet use was driven by their need to maintain and coordinate multiple relationships.