Internet Use Asia
The use of Internet in Asia has seen dramatic increases in the past decade. A recent survey by the Korean Institute for Youth Development estimates that 93% of Korean adolescents use the Internet (Jung et al 2005). In China, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, June 2003, 123 million have gone online (Cao et al, 2007). Themagazine Computerworld predicts that China will become the world’s largest IT market by 2010 (as cited by Lin, Kirkup & Hodgson, 2001). The Philippines has approximately 3.7 million “active” Internet users (www.Internetworldstats.com). Active users are those goes online daily or every other day. Although only 15.4 percent of the population aged 15-54 years old have access to the Internet, thePhilippines has consistently ranked in the top 5 countries in terms of specific usage of the Internet. Ninety nine percent (3.6 million) of Filipino users watch online videos from YouTube, which is ranked highest ahead of Mexico and Brazil. The Philippines also has the highest percentage of users that uploads pictures in photo sharing websites at 3.14 million. There are 3.3 million Filipinos who readblogs and 2.3 million owns and writes in Internet blogs. Eighty three percent or 3 million Filipino users maintain a profile on social networking and 90 percent of them has at least one Friendster account. (Universal McCann, 2008).
The Internet serves many purposes in Asia depending on the user. A Singapore Internet project reported that teen-agers primarily used the Internet to obtaininformation on sports, entertainment, science and technology and hobbies. A study in Taiwan found that teens turn to the Internet for games, information searching, entertainment, and chatting (as cited in Jung et al, 2005). A study by Pertierra (2006) revealed that 50 percent of Filipino respondents aged 14 to 23 years old use the Internet and mobile phones to expand their circle of relationships byparticipating in online chat groups, forums and social networking sites. Men and women equally make use of the Internet as an avenue to meet virtual friends. About half of those who make use of the Internet to make friends meet up with their virtual friends face-to-face to hang out, date or have sex. Especially among older respondents, these virtual friends become real friends eventually. It is alsoimportant to note that geographic, economic and educational factors strongly affect the usage of the Internet. Usually, the poor rural dwellers are intimidated by computers and cannot afford the expenses involved in using the Internet.
Benefits of Internet Use
The Internet has become a integral part of many people’s lives. The Internet has been used as a tool to conveniently carry outshopping, banking planning and researching almost anywhere, as long as they have access to it. The social networking sites allowed people to meet new friends and re-connect with family and friends from all parts of the world. Online job-hunting sites paved new opportunities for people to get more satisfying and better paying jobs. It has also permitted people to express their thoughts by postingtheir own journals and blogs and sharing it to the rest of the world. There are just some of the benefits the Internet.
The wealth of information available online has provided knowledge, assistance and support for other people. In particular, Internet use to gather medical information for breast health issues was found to be associated with greater overall social support and less loneliness forwomen with breast cancer (Fogel, Albert, Schnabel, Ditkoff, & Neugut, 2003). The Internet has also become a venue for obtaining counseling services. It is used for psychoeducational services or providing people with information about psychological problems, symptoms, prevention and treatment, for self-help and for social support (Chang, 2005). Psychologists serve as consultants who provide...