This article is from the archive of our partner .

The internet has been with us for 25 years, and it’ll come as no surprise that American adults are smitten, according to Pew’s latest data (pdf). More surprising is the news that despite the country’s increasing dependence on the internet, survey respondents who have landline phones still thought that their home phones would be harder to give up than social media:

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It’s worth noting that this still represents a significant drop in landline lovers. While 28% of landline owners say it would be “very hard” to give up that wired connection, that amounts to only 17% of the total adult population. Far fewer homes have landlines; 2011 census data showed that only 71% of US households had a landline, down from over 96% 15 years before. In Pew’s survey, age was also a factor.  Nearly half of those 65 and older couldn’t imagine giving up a landline, while 7% of those aged 18-29 said the same.

Pew’s survey offers a vivid illustration of the extent to which American adults have embraced cellphones, computers, and the internet for work and play:

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Pew also found that Americans have generally positive feelings about the people they encounter online: 70% of internet users said they’d been treated kindly on the internet, and just over half reported that they’d seen an online community come together to solve a problem or do good. Only a quarter said they’d left an online group because of unpleasant behavior.

And while some US adults may feel that the internet is “bad for society”—nearly all of them feel that they are reaping personal benefits.


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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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