Everything Americans Dislike About the Internet, in One Chart*

By Megan Garber

*Charts are not one of the things Americans dislike about the Internet.

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There is much to love about the Internet. But there is much, as well, to dislike -- and/or to be annoyed by, and/or to resent, and/or to mistrust. In late June, the Q&A community Mancx decided to put numbers to those Internet-borne vexations. The firm conducted a survey of 1,900 American adults -- adults who self-identified, it's worth noting, as people who specifically search for information on the Internet. A group full of shoppers and cat-picture-seekers might have yielded different results.

Per Mancx's numbers, however, the Internet as an information source leaves a lot to be desired. A whopping 98 percent of respondents don't fully trust the information available on it. Which is a good thing, overall -- skepticism! -- except that 94 percent of respondents also noted the many negative effects that the Internet's bad intel can have. They also noted the potential to get a computer virus from Internet wanderings (63 percent), the multiplicity of ads they were forced to encounter (59 percent), the information that was bad specifically because it was outdated (56 percent), the information that was bad specifically because it was self-promotional (53 percent), the encountering of unfamiliar forums and spaces (45 percent), the potential to damage one's reputation via those forums and spaces (36 percent), the potential to get fired because of Internet-based tools (14 percent), and the compromise the Internet can pose to marriages and other relationships (9 percent).

Given all those, it's surprising how few of the survey respondents expressed another gripe. Only 67 percent of them complained about the Internet's most pernicious power of all: its amazing ability to help people waste time. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/everything-americans-dislike-about-the-internet-in-one-chart/260086/