The results of a new survey conducted by German market analysis firm Bitkom might not surprise folks who’ve grown up in the Intenret age, but may surprise people who still remember licking stamps or tuning into short wave radio broadcasts. Bitkom finds that young Germans would sooner do without their cars or their partners than live without the Internet. Bitkom interviewed 1,000 Germans about their attitudes towards the Internet and technology (German), and found that a whopping 84 percent of respondents between the ages of 19 and 29 would give up their wheels or their partner rather than the Internet; similarly, some 97 percent of respondents age 19 to 29 said living without a mobile phone was simply unthinkable.
Other results were perhaps more predictable: some 98 percent of respondents said they had found useful information online, and 87 percent said using the Internet gave them more personal and professional flexibility—another 87 percent said the Internet offered up new modes of entertainment. Roughly 70 percent said the Internet enabled them to either earn money or use their money more wisely, wile 61 percent said the Internet had improved their general knowledge. A little over half said the Internet had enabled them to save money on purchases.
Roughly half of all respondents said they had made new friends thanks to online communities, and one third of all respondents said social networking sites had helped them expand their circle of friends. Some 8 percent reported they had found a new partner in part due to online communications.
The findings were presented on the eve of CeBIT, the enormous annual trade fair held in Germany, which this year featured California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a guest of honor.
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