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Class divisions less pronounced in Swedes' internet habits

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Class divisions less pronounced in Swedes' internet habits
09:28 CET+01:00
The average Swede spends 18 hours a week surfing the internet, according to a new report, and students and university graduates are no longer the ones spending the most time in front of a computer screen.

“Now the internet has become almost like driving a car,” said Håkan Selg of Uppsala University.

Only five years ago there was a clear difference in internet use by high- and low-educated people, writes the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper.

College students and graduates who were first to hop on the internet bandwagon in the early days of the world wide web long held a tight grip on harnessing the possibilities of the new technology.

But not any longer, according to a report from the Swedish IT-User Centre (NITA) at Uppsala University.

Today an average Swede under 55 years of age uses the internet 18 hours a week, the report shows, which is actually one hour more than either students or graduates now surf the web.

According to Selg, who heads up the internet use research project, people's interest now drives how much time they spend on the internet.

“[People's interest] is a big deciding factor relative to a lack of internet access or an inability to use the new technology. We can now rule out the differences in usage as a problem,” he told UNT.

Older Swedes are among those who still basically don't use the internet, and the study shows that there appears to be a significant different between usage habits of those older and younger than 35-years-old.

Whereas Swedes older than 35 tend to use the internet for more mundane tasks such as emailing, internet banking, and looking for information, those younger than 35 tend to conduct an great deal of their social life on the web.

“The email-generation has transposed their correspondence and telephone habits to the internet and don't understand the younger generation which blurs the borders between working life and private life, between workplace and home,” said Selg.

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