Mapping the digital future. Hungarian Society and the Internet ITHAKA-ITTK-TÁRKI - PDF

Mapping the digital future Hungarian Society and the Internet ITHAKA-ITTK-TÁRKI 1 World Internet Project is an international research program ( for details see page

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Mapping the digital future Hungarian Society and the Internet ITHAKA-ITTK-TÁRKI 1 World Internet Project is an international research program ( for details see page 66). The program is conducted in Hungary by BUTE Information Society and Trend Research Institute ( Social Research Centre Inc. (TÁRKI, and ELTE- ITHAKA ( The research program is lead by Dr. Tibor Dessewffy and Dr. Zoltán Fábián. The Hungarian survey was supported by the Ministry of Informatics and Communications, ORTT (National Radio and Television Commission) and Axelero. The report was written by: Tibor Dessewffy Zoltán Fábián Anna Galácz Zsófia Rét András Rigler Bence Ságvári This report is published by Infonia Foundation. Editor: László Z. Karvalics 2 Contents Introduction...4 Highlights...7 Computers in households...12 Diffusion of home computers...12 Social factors determining Internet access...13 Intentions to buy a PC...15 Mobile telephone access and use...16 Mobile telephone use...18 Standard phone penetration...19 Other info-communication and multimedia tools...21 Internet access at home...22 Home Internet access - types and expenses...24 Computer usage...25 Penetration, diffusion...25 Scenes of PC usage and computer activities...26 PC-usage competences...28 Internet usage...29 Scenes of Internet usage...33 Forms and functions of Internet usage...36 Non users: why not online?...39 Public opinion about the Internet...41 Internet and other media...44 Internet at work ing, opinions about Electronic commerce from the consumers point of view...52 Security and Internet use...57 Security risks...57 Precautionary measures...58 Internet and social connections...6 Family life and Internet usage at home...62 The International World Internet Project...66 Sampling and weighing methods...67 Presentation of participating institutes Introduction The slowly falling avalanche Another year has passed by in the Hungarian Internet-world. 24 was characterized by the breakthrough of broadband technologies, there has been a spectacular leap in the diffusion of technologies ameliorating the quality of Internet usage (including Wi-Fi). And though the already usual site-visiting records have been reported ( there has never been as many people online as during the Olympic Games ), and the news spread during the last quarter of the year about the increase in online advertising costs made the Hungarian peers of online content producing industry optimistic, it is still not evident how to characterize this year from the aspect of the Hungarian society. Should we think about these phenomena as a breakthrough, or should we rather consider this year as that of unobservable structural reformations preceding a future crumble of the online avalanche? Is there a change in how people perceive the Internet, did the inner composition and efficiency of online activities change? Did villages start joining up to cities in the number of internet users? Are there any new, interesting, phenomena suitable for future analysis? You are just about to read the forth Hungarian WIP (World Internet Project) survey report, the newest results of a research which aims at reporting deep structural changes: the basic features that characterize the diffusion of Internet and its culture in Hungary. WIP differs from other Internet- related researches in four principal areas. First, it foregrounds the social impacts of the diffusion of the Internet. Hence, besides examining the degree of diffusion (similarly to other projects), WIP aspires to provide a deeper interpretation of the impacts of the Internet by incorporating attitude, value and behavioral variables to the analysis. Another important feature is that WIP extends its survey beyond users and examines non-users as well. This allows for the examination of passages between the two groups, and makes it possible to provide a wide comparison between their attitude and behavior which may leas us to reveal the reasons of non-users for not being online. Another distinguishing characteristic of WIP is that it conducts a longitudinal research, making it possible to observe trends and tracing continuous changes instead of only capturing a snapshot. And last but not least, the possibly more important feature of WIP is that it provides international, comparative studies, so that the social phenomena connected to the Internet can be observed worldwide. 4 While we are objective and detached in studying the diffusion of the Internet and its social impacts, we are eager to see the survey s results every year. One thing that we can be sure about every year is that betting to the diffusion of the Internet is a guarantee to win. If we have enough time, i.e. 2-3 years to wait, we can certainly observe a wide diffusion of this info-communication tool. Hence, it is not the direction of the process but its speed, depth and quality that have to be investigated. The Hungarian version of the World Internet Project started at a very good point at this respect: in 21, when the first research was conducted, Internet belonged to a few privileged: only 17% of the population had Internet access this time. Ever since we have been hoping for being able to report a landmark and a sudden rise in the number of users. However, every year we find ourselves disappointed in this hope as it is the case this year. 29% of Hungarian population had a positive answer to the question whether /s/he uses the Internet, up from 25% last year, which is a slow, constant growth, but cannot be called a breakthrough. The slowness of diffusion becomes even more alarming if we consider that computer penetration in households is also slowing down: proportion of households with a computer remained constant from last year (32%). However, behind the predictably unlively, dynamic-less diffusion trends we can see signs of several interesting changes taking shape. The probably most important finding of WIP studies so far was to note that besides material circumstances, there are also cultural, mental factors that play a role in hindering the diffusion of the Internet. We experienced a constant decrease in the number of those who did not go online because it costs too much, and a radical, surprising growth in the proportion of non-users who said they were not interested in or did not need the Internet. The trend is still observable this year, and these immaterial reasons are already the most widespread among non-users. Another strengthening tendency revealed in our studies is that of digitally parted Hungary. This expression refers to the drastic digital division observed in Hungarian society among the dimensions of age and qualification. (An obvious explanation can be drawn from the Sulinet program which provides Internet access at schools: while 7% of the population in the Sulinet generation, i.e. 25 years and under uses the Internet, this figure is only 2% in the older generation. It is also important to note that proportion of users is extremely low among the population above 6 years: not more than 2%.) Moreover, the depth of the digital divide in Hungary did not change principally from last year. The big question to answer is which factor we should have recourse to when searching for the essential points: what determines dominant tendencies and the direction of changes? For instance, the fact that 28% of Hungarian population have a mobile phone suitable for connecting 5 to the Internet may have serious, but not anticipated consequences. It is difficult to predict how this technological particularity might reshape Internet-using habits in the following years. Will slowly falling subscription prices finally reach a favorable level which may lead to the longawaited change? Many things are changing about the Internet, but what remained unchanged is our conviction that understanding information society is one of the greatest intellectual challenges in our days. The World Internet Project database and research studies are intended to support this process of interpretation. Tibor Dessewffy - Zoltán Fábián - László Z. Karvalics 6 Highlights Personal computers and other info-communication tools in Hungarian households 32% of Hungarian households own at least one computer in 24; this proportion remained stable from 23. The rising trend in the diffusion of home computers, relatively slow until the end of the 9 s but speeding up after, seems to come to a stop this year: while the proportion of households with a computer was rising by 4-5 percents between 1998 and 23, the increase was not higher than 1 percent in 24. According to 24 year s results, in 68% of Hungarian households there is at least one person who owns a mobile phone. 67% of respondents has a mobile phone for his/her personal use. Due to the gradual decrease in the number of standard telephone lines over the past years, only 68% of Hungarian households has a standard telephone line in 24. In other figures it means that among the population over 14 years, 67% lives in a household with a phone line. Among examined info-communication tools, color television proved to be the most widespread: it can be found in almost every household. Two thirds of households dispose of satellite or cable for receiving cable television transmission. 56% of households has videotape, and 38% hi-fi equipment. There has been a significant increase in the proportion of households with a DVD player: up to 17% from last year s 1%. Internet at home In 24 14% of Hungarian households has Internet access. Projected to the population over 14 years, this makes up 18%. Most households with internet access (4%) still connect to online service by telephone modem. However, the pushing of broadband technologies is already visible: while there has been a 1% decrease of modem connections and 2% decrease of ISDN according to last years measures, the proportion of ASDL connections has grown from 14 to 24 percents, and the number of households connecting by cable television or other broadband cables is also increasing. 7 Computer and Internet use 4% of Hungarian population over 14 years use a personal computer. Compared to 39% measured last year, the increase is only one percent. In 24, 29% of the population over 14 years use the Internet, but the number of those who use it on a regular basis, i.e. at least once a week, is only 21%. Using the Internet at home is gaining more and more place, as already recorded in last year s report. In 24 more than half of Internet users goes online at home, what makes home the most important scene of going online. As in preceding years, most popular online activities are sending and receiving s, searching for information about products or services and reading of online newspapers and magazines. 21% of Internet users download games, pictures or music on a weekly basis. Public institutions sites are also popular among Internet users: 18% of them visit such sites at least once a week, while other 34 percent do it at least once in a month. Another frequent online activity is searching for information about different educational forms or downloading educational material. Digital division in the Hungarian society Appropriate indices show that digital division in Hungary decreased over the last four years, but it is still very significant. The biggest division is recorded in the dimension of qualification: the index value is only 12% and it did not increase at all from last year. Other factors that play an important role in digital division are age and, to a lesser but still significant extent, income. There is no significant division among Internet users according to gender: women s indices of Internet access and use almost equal the average. Reasons for not being online The number of non-users who refer to material reasons for not being online is constantly decreasing, while lack of motivation is spreading. The answer not having a PC, which used to be the most frequent reason of non-users, already started to decline last year, and 8 in 24 only 21% cited it. In parallel, proportions of answers like not needing it (46%) and not interested (25%) are increasing. Opinions about the Internet Hungarian population has a positive attitude towards technological innovations. 65% of people who expressed their opinion said that new info-communication tools like mobile phone or Internet make the world a better place, while only 7% think the opposite. 28% of respondents said that diffusion of info-communication tools do not change the state of the world. Both users and non-users agree that children have access to contents that are not suitable for them via the Internet. Furthermore, both groups think that users can save time with Internet; this opinion is more widespread among experienced users. It is an interesting issue that non-users agree much more with the opinion that Internet is dangerous to personal data than experienced users. Although users rather agree with the opinion that not having access to the Internet is a disadvantage, this level of agreement is not very high, and non-users agree even less. Hungarian Internet users are generally satisfied with Internet, their opinions became more and more positive over the last years: in 24, 36% of users are totally satisfied with the web. The biggest user satisfaction is recorded about the quantity of information and the communication possibilities of the Internet. Connection speed continues to be the major source of dissatisfaction, but even this field shows an amelioration according to past years. Internet at work, distance working The most popular online activity of people who use Internet at work is business e- mailing: 68% of users do it on a weekly basis. A slightly lower proportion of employees, 58% uses Internet for browsing web sites for business purposes. Personal use of the Internet at work is less frequent, but not rare: 31% of the employees use the Internet for personal , and 37% for personal browsing. 13% of employees said that their employers monitor strictly their Internet use, while 9% reported similar monitoring of . A slightly higher proportion of employees said that they encountered occasional controls, but the vast majority of employees are not monitored at all in their Internet and use at work. 9 29 percent of employees have used the Internet for business purposes outside their workplace in the last three months, thus performed any kind of distance working. Electronic commerce 84% of Hungarian Internet users have never ordered any product or service via the Internet, and the proportion of those who did it in the last three months is only 8%. In more than two thirds of transaction products are paid for by traditional means on delivery, the proportion of payments by bank card or credit card remained stable (24%). Security and Internet use The most typical problems about Internet use are virus and spam: 35% of Internet users got a virus, and 46% got spam last year. On the other hand, none of the respondents reported to be concerned in a credit card fraud, and the number of abuses of personal data is also insignificant. The most widespread way of security precautions is by anti-virus software: 45% of users have installed one last year, while 54% have updated their virus protector. On the other hand, only 28% installed a firewall (either hardware or software), and 27 percent used any kind of online certification. Internet and social connections This year s survey shows that about one third of Hungarian Internet users search for new acquaintances via the web: 31% affirm having at least one friend whom they acquainted online, while 28% have more than one such friends. Internet is most helpful while communicating with people working in the same field: 21% of users say they communicate more or much more with people of this group since the use the Internet. Less users expressed this opinion about other groups, such as their family, friends or people with the same hobby, and even less about political or religious groups. Internet and family Similarly to the last three years results, we found that Internet does not alter family life seriously. The vast majority (91%) of those who have Internet access at home think that members of their family spend about the same amount of time together since they can go online at home, and only 6% reported a decrease in the time spent with the family. 1 Parents think that the web does not mean any significant danger neither for their children s social lives, nor does for their school grades. 11 Computers in households Diffusion of home computers There is at least one computer in almost one third of Hungarian households in 24. This proportion did not change significantly from the 23 survey. The proportion of households with one computer is still 27%, while the number of households without a computer decreased by one percent, and the number of households with more than one computer has increased by one percent. PC penetration in households, (percents) *# Households without a computer One computer More computers All Case number (N=) * Source: WIP 24 survey, TÁRKI # Note: overall number of computers and portable computers (laptop, notebook). Palmtops and game consoles are not included. The increase in the number of home computers, which was slow until the end of the 9 s, and fastened gradually until this year seems to come to a stop: while the proportion of households with a computer has grown constantly by 4-5% between 1998 and 23, the increase is not higher than one percent in 24. PC penetration in households between 1992 and 24 (%) On the basis of the data registered between 1998 and 23, we predicted a higher proportion of PC penetration for 24 than the actual rates. Calculating with a linear continuation of the trend, the proportion should have reached 34%, while an eventual (exponential) rise of the trend should have yield a result of 39%. However, the standstill of the rising trend resulted in a rate lower than expected: we registered only 32% of PC penetration this year. With a similar method, but taking this year s measures into account, the proportion of households with a computer can be predicted to fall between 37 and 4 percents by 25. Computer penetration in households, prediction for PC penetr. Lin. trend PC penetr. Expon. trend * * * Predicted value calculated on the basis of the trend Social factors determining Internet access The households possession of a computer is closely related to the households sociodemographic indices. PC penetration grows with the urbanization level of the settlement: households in Budapest show the biggest proportion of PC penetration (4%), while heading from county towns and other big cities to smaller settlements, proportion of households with a PC decreases gradually. It is also in Budapest that we find the biggest proportion of households with more than one computer (9%), while the least of these households can be found in villages. 13 PC penetration in households according to settlement types(%) village town countytown Budapest one two or more As observed in past years, PC penetration still proves to be closely related to income. In the lowest income quintile only one household out of twenty has a computer, while 63% of households in the top quintile has one. The proportion of households with two or more computers is salient in this group: while this rate is only 3% in the fourth income quintile, we find five times as much such households in the top quintile. PC penetration in households according to income quintiles (%) lowest quintile 2 nd qintile 3 rd quintile 4 th quintile top quintile one two or more PC penetration is also influenced by the age and educational level of the head of the family. Households with a head between 4-49 years are the most likely to have a computer, and penetration rates decrease in both younger and older age groups. Educational level of the head of the family is in direct proportionality w
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