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Internet Use and Face-to-Face Social Interaction

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An Analysis of Time-Use Data in South Korea and the US

image of Asian Journal of Social Science

Using time-use data collected in South Korea and the United States, this study examines what Internet users would do if they did not spend time online and whether these activities would include face-to-face social interaction, an important condition for a sense of attachment, physical and psychological health, and social integration. In contrast to most previous studies, we attempt to control for unobserved individual heterogeneity by either using a fixed-effects method or identifying random non-users—Internet users who do not go online on a specific day. Moreover, our cross-cultural comparison helps find more generalisable effects of Internet use. Despite the inconsistent statistical significance in the US and some differences between societies, overall, the results indicate that online time displaces time spent on face-to-face interaction with family and non-family members.

Affiliations: 1: Dongguk University ; 2: The City University of New York


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