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Internet Use and Time Use

[journal article]

Kenyon, Susan

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Abstract Scholars are beginning to question the impacts of the Internet for the conceptualization of time and time use. However, discussion in terms of the impacts of the Internet for multitasking has been absent from this debate. Multitasking has, until recently, been a forgotten dimension of time-use research. The phenomenon has long been recognized as important, yet it is only in the past decade that time-use researchers have begun seriously both to record and analyse related data. Such studies have shown that a more fully informed understanding of the true extent of time use and activity participation can emerge through the consideration of multitasking. This, in turn, can present a more accurate picture upon which measures of change in time use can be assessed. This article is concerned with an exploratory discussion of the impact of the inclusion of multitasking data upon perception of change in time use as a result of Internet use. Following theoretical discussion, the article presents evidence from a longitudinal, diary-based panel study with around 100 participants and a questionnaire survey with 1000 participants. The article explores the prevalence of multitasking and reveals clear implications of Internet use for the same. In conclusion, those seeking to understand the influence of Internet use upon time use must include multitasking in their analysis if they are to avoid an incomplete and potentially misleading account of time use (and change therein) in the information age.
Keywords Internet
Classification Interactive, electronic Media
Free Keywords diary study; multitasking; time use;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 283-318
Journal Time & Society, 17 (2008) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)