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New research from UK research firm BCS suggests that, on average, people around the world think that information technology (i.e. Internet access) increases their sense of freedom by 15% and improves their overall well-being. Altogether, our life satisfaction increases by 10% when we have IT access, the study concludes.

BCS’s study set out to better understand the relationship between IT and well-being, and to determine if there is a link — positive or negative — between the two. The report,  ”The Information Divident: Can IT make you happier?”, is based on data collected from more than 35,000 survey respondents across the globe.

BCS’s primary finding — that, statistically speaking, IT has a positive impact on life satisfaction — is quite interesting, especially considering that some research shows that greater wealth doesn’t correlate to greater happiness (one would think money would make people happier than access to Twitter). And others believe that Internet addiction could become a chronic childhood illness.

The results indicate that those who benefit most from IT access are women, individuals in lower income households and those with less education. The institute argues that this is because “IT helps to promote and enable empowerment and autonomy.” For women specifically it serves as an important “social and family network support tool.”

You can read more about BCS’s findings in the full report embedded below.

Info Dividend 1

[via Ars Technica]

[img credit: One Laptop Per Child]

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Tags: internet, it, web