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Study shows Internet users are more likely to volunteer

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Internet users may be more active in volunteer organizations than their offline colleagues, says a new study by Pew Research. According to CNN, among 2,303 American adults who were surveyed in November and December, those who use the Internet are more likely to participate in volunteer groups. In addition, online users more actively participate in their group’s activities and are more likely to feel good about what their group or organization is accomplishing.

Of those surveyed, 80 percent of Web users participate in “groups” compared to only 56 percent of non-Webbers. Predictably, Facebook is the destination of choice, with 62 percent of Internet users citing it as a place where they congregate. Twitter clocked in at 12 percent. Of these Web users, 48 percent had a social networking page, 30 percent had a blog, and 16 percent mainly used Twitter (which is a social networking site, right?).

Unlike the real world, the bubbled social networking community makes it easier to follow every small activity a group is doing to promote its cause. A simple Web search makes it easier to find groups you are interested in as well. Finding a group in the Yellow Pages is not as easy.

Internet = more religion?

More interesting, Pew finds that Internet users are a bit more likely to attend church or attend spiritual functions than non-connected individuals. Those who own mobile phones are also more likely to join religious groups than those who don’t own a mobile phone.

So what’s the deal? Do you feel more connected to religious and other groups because of the Internet and your phone? Or do those without the Internet still have the luxury of avoiding peer pressure more often than we the connected?

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Jeffrey Van Camp
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