Usage of the internet in Slovakia and Europe
Increasing societal importance and usage of the internet ignite a need for rigorous research. The focus of our study was identifying the frequency of internet usage in Slovakia and also in other European countries. For this purpose, we utilised data obtained in the ninth round of the European Social Survey.
Firstly, we studied what is a situation in our homeland, how often are Slovaks online. 22 % v Slovaks in European Social Survey responded, that they do not use the internet at all. The rest of the respondents, 78 % of Slovaks, use the internet at least a few times a week.
More than a third of Slovaks (34 %) responded they spend 1 to 2 hours on the internet a day. 23 % of Slovaks responded they spend less than 60 minutes on internet a day. When we compare this data with previous findings, we can conclude that a group of Slovaks that uses the internet, is using it for at least 1 hour a day. On average, Slovaks spend 157 minutes on the internet a day. More detailed results are available in Table 1.
ESS provides data from many European countries, so it offers an opportunity to compare usage of the internet of Slovaks and the rest of Europe. Surprisingly, among studied countries, Slovakia placed next to last. How Table 2 presents, the average Slovak spends 157 minutes on the internet a day. The European average of ´online´ time is 199 minutes. In comparison with the average European, Slovak spends on the internet more than 40 minutes less a day.
Surprising results were uncovered by studying the relationship between education and internet usage in Slovakia. Significant differences were identified between people with elementary education and people with secondary education. Respondents with elementary education spend 56 minutes more on the internet compared to respondents with secondary education. It is clear that Slovaks with elementary education spend more time online, however, we cannot tell how is this time used.
Internet influences us in a complicated way. Our study confirms it too. That is why findings that the average Slovak uses less internet on a daily basis that average European cannot be definitely labelled as negative. In the same way, findings that Slovaks with elementary education spend more time online compared to Slovak with secondary education are impossible to label as favourable or unfavourable. Deciding impact of the internet on every one of us arises from a combination of quantity and quality of internet content in our lives.
Text: Alexander Loziak, Centre of Social and Psychological Sciences SAS
Foto: unsplash.com/Marvin Meyer