Growing internet use has positive impact on developing economies, says research
Increased internet and social media usage in developing countries might be beneficial to their economies, suggests Pew Global research.
Recent research from Pew Global has shown that people in developing countries believe that the internet and social media is having a positive effect on their economy, with 52% saying that it is a good influence.
There were even stronger positive feelings about the impact of the internet on education: 64% of people across 32 developing nations rated it as a good influence.
There are also trends of many young people in some countries using the internet to find a job. The report notes that 62% of internet users in Bangladesh and 55% in India have used the internet to look for or apply for a job. These statistics could have helped to form the perception that the internet is beneficial to the economy, as the public are finding employment by using the internet.
As computers are no longer necessary to connect to the internet, some developing countries are finding it easier to get online through smartphones. This can be seen in countries such as Chile and China, which rival the USA for smartphone usage.
The rate of internet usage is likely to continue growing as smartphones become increasingly accessible to those in poorer countries, and the impact of the internet will become more and more visible.
For example, in the UK where over 80% of the population regularly access the internet, data from Facebook can be used as an indication of what voters are talking about in the run up to political events. It was recently revealed that during the first 10 weeks of 2015, discussions about the economy were at the top of Londoners’ conversations about the upcoming general election.
Elizabeth Linder, Facebook’s politics & government specialist, said: “We’ve seen previously that conversation on Facebook has increased voter turnout, and we hope that activity on Facebook from all parties has helped raise awareness of the key issues among UK voters.”
This is just one of the ways that not just the internet as a whole, but social media in particular can have a tangible impact on real world situations, including the economy.
As more and more people across the globe gain access to the internet, we can expect further examples of how entire countries can be affected.