Thank you for a fascinating and fun question to research!
Top Online Activities, Sept 2002 - Source: Jupiter Research
Search engine 79%
Research products/services 63%
Local information 60%
Online bill viewing 48%
Online newspaper 46%
Travel research 45%
Work research 38%
Online banking 36%
Online bill payment 34%
Job classifieds 33%
Internet Tutorial - Reasons why people use the internet
1. To find general information about a subject
"The Web is like a huge encyclopedia of information - in some ways
it's even better. The volume of information you'll find on the Web is
amazing. For every topic that you've ever wondered about, there's
bound to be someone who's written a Web page about it. The Web offers
2. To access information not easily available elsewhere
"One of the great things about the Web is that it puts information
into your hands that you might otherwise have to pay for or find out
by less convenient means."
3. To correspond with faraway friends
"Email offers a cheap and easy alternative to traditional methods of
correspondence. It's faster and easier than writing snail mail and
cheaper than using the telephone."
4. To meet people
"The Web is generally a very friendly place. People love getting email
from strangers, and friendships are quick to form from casual
correspondence. The "impersonal" aspect of email tends to encourage
people to reveal surprisingly personal things about themselves. When
you know you will never have to meet someone face-to-face, you may
find it easier to tell them your darkest secrets. Cyber-friendships
have often developed into real life ones too. Many people have even
found love on the Net, and have gone on to marry their cyber-partner."
5. To discuss their interests with like-minded people
"Did you think you were alone in your obsession with a singer, TV
programme, author, hobby? Chances are there's and Internet group for
people like you, discussing every little detail of your obsession
(Commonly called Message Boards or Discussion Forums or Usenet
discussion forums. Then there's Internet Chat -
"Chatting is a synchronous form of communication. You don't have to
wait for someone to reply to you - the conversation is in real-time,
just like a normal conversation except using text instead of spoken
IRC (Internet Relay Chat), ICQ, Internet Conferencing, Instant Messaging
6. To have fun
"There's no doubt that the Internet is a fun place to be. There's
plenty to keep you occupied on a rainy day."
7. To learn
"On-line distance education courses..."
8. To read the news
"The New York Times is always up to date with the latest (American) news."
(Google News - or subscribe to your local newspaper which sends news
to you via email with links to all stories.)
9. To find software
"The Internet contains a wealth of useful downloadable shareware."
10. To buy things
"The security of on-line shopping is still questionable, but as long
as you are dealing with a reputable company or Web Site the risks are
"FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is just a way to transfer files from
computer to computer on the Internet. You might typically use it to
transfer a Web page from your computer (where you are writing it) to a
Web server so it can be accessed by the world, or you may use it to
download a file from a public archive."
Additional reasons would include:
12. Writing Web Pages (also includes Blogs - Weblogs)
13. Playing computer games (can be done offline as well as online -
I'm addicted to playing Scrabble online with other competitors!)
14. Work related purposes or work from home
15. Managing the household - everything from recipes to re-designing
a room, keeping personal/family records, genealogy.
A wonderful report can be found at: A NATION ONLINE: How Americans Are
Expanding Their Use Of The Internet (Very interesting read!) Click
on links left side of page
Message from Secretary Evans
Chapter 1: Overview
Chapter 2: Computer and Internet Use
Chapter 3: Online Activities
Chapter 4: How and Where America Goes Online
Australian Social Trends - Transport and communication: Household use
of computers and the Internet
"In the week prior to the 2001 Census of Population and Housing, 44%
of people had used a home computer and 29% had accessed the Internet
Increasingly, computers and the Internet are becoming a part of every
day life for many Australians. Personal computers, many of which are
connected to the Internet, are found in homes, workplaces, educational
institutions and community facilities across the country. People of
all ages use computers and the Internet for activities such as
recreation, work, study, communication and making financial
And, lastly I've included some humor for you!
Reasons Dogs Don't Use Computers
"Can't stick their heads out of Windows®.
Hard to read the monitor with your head cocked to one side.
Too difficult to "mark" every website they visit.
Can't help attacking the screen when they hear "You've Got Mail."
Fire hydrant icon simply frustrating."
Other Reasons to Hate Computers
Links to reasons such as:
"My software never has bugs. It just develops random features.
Anyone who trusts technology, doesn't understand technology.
Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
Can I trade this job for what's behind door #2?
Disk Crash: A typical computer response to any critical deadline.
Talk about memory, this system includes a sense of guilt."
home computer applications
reasons people use home computers
computer usage statistics
computer use trends
Clarification of Answer by
23 Dec 2003 10:14 PST
There was no hard data on the internet regarding the most popular
activities/applications are available online. I've created this list
by several means.
I asked my neighbor who has little children and wants them learn how
to use a computer and keyboard without being on the internet.
I phoned a friend of mine who manages a large and popular computer
store for suggestions.
I racked my brain for things to do on my computer if my internet
connection was down. :)
In no specific order:
Create mail or reply to mail. Print it out and then mail it out via land mail.
Play music or watch movies if you have a cd/dvd rom.
Search for information with software - cd or dvd. This includes
literally thousands of software programs, with information from A to
Software to create and print out cards (birthday or anniversary).
Software data bases to keep track of your video library, your books, etc.
Money programs such as Quicken.
Spreadsheet programs such as Excel.
Word programs to create essays, documents, write a book!
Information and learning software such as the Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Almanac.
Backup your computer, clean up history, temporary files and cache,
edit your stored photos and pictures, create artwork with programs
such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop, create a website.
Funny site at The Toque - Canada's source for Internet Humour and Satire
Emergency Manual 2003
What Should I do If the Internet Goes Down?
"Every year we grow more and more dependent on the Internet. But would
you know what to do if your connection suddenly went down?
No one knows when the Internet will fail. It could happen at any time,
leaving you bereft of your e-mail, your sports scores, and your Blogs.
Therefore, it's important that you and your family have a contingency
plan for just such an emergency. If your connection to Cyberspace were
to ever get severed, you should at least be prepared. We have included
a few key points that should assist you if that were to happen.
An excited, agitated state..."
Clarification of Answer by
23 Dec 2003 10:48 PST
Update: My esteemed colleague bobbie7 has contacted me with data
found on the internet.
Students report spending 80% of their computer time at home on four activities:
? Email (25%)
? Games (25%)
? Writing (17%)
? Internet (13%)
The other 20% of the time was spent on activities ranging from chat
and Instant Messaging to notetaking, webpage
creation, and graphics work.
Common uses for the home computer by children and youth include
educational programs, games, word processing, and access to the
Internet.2 In 2001, children ages 5-17 were most likely to use home
computers to play games (59 percent of all children), but they also
often used home computers for connecting to the Internet (46 percent)
and completing school assignments (44 percent). Among children who
used the Internet, the most common uses included school work (72
percent), email (65 percent), and playing games (62 percent).3
I hope this helps! Best regards,