A new poll by 463 Communications and Zogby International has found that the love affair Americans have with the Net might be, well, just that. 24% of respondents said that the Internet could be a substitute for a significant other. It might come as no real surprise, but the highest percentage of those who believed that were single (31%). However only 18% of those who considered politically conservative agreed with that statement, compared to 31% of those who classed themselves as progressive. The poll, conducted between October 4-8 among 9,743 adult respondents, was an attempt to take a snapshot of the role the Internet plays in peoples’ lives, and whether government should play a bigger part in regulating it. A third of 18-24 year-olds believed the government should step in on content compared to 72% of those over 70. But more than half of those polled thought online video should be under some kind of governmental control. 29% felt it should be regulated like television, and 24% felt a rating system, similar to movies, should be in place. Yet only 36% responded that blocking of Internet video would be unconstitutional. “Some view the Internet as their new best friend, others as an increasingly powerful tool that can infect our youth with harmful images and thoughts and therefore must be controlled,” said 463 partner Tom Galvin in a statement. “Our challenge as a society is to let the Internet flourish as a dynamic force in our economy and communities while not chipping away at the fundamental freedoms that created the Internet in the first place.” More worryingly, 11% of respondents were willing to have a chip implanted in their brains if it let them access the Internet, but 20% were willing to have one put in their children’s brains, to be able to track them in case of kidnapping or abduction. Among born-again Christians, 20% felt the Internet made them feel closer to God, while 11% said it made them more distant.
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