But the media and everyone who doesn't spend a bit more time on the internet is convinced that we are anti-social and we lack communication skills and you can name another 500 things they throw at us, because we spend more time then them on the net.
Studies like these confirm what we have been saying all along. It's not that bad and it's not that different from when someone would lock himself up in a room and watch tv.
Some are more extreme and others are just as likely to engage in social activities outside of the internet, they just also spend time on the net.
If you think internet use does not make people anti social try taking a look in practically any forum, it is like Beirut on a bad day, the amount of hate and angst shown over the littlest difference in opinion
People are more passionate and the internet anonymity brings discussion further and harder than it would be face to face, but that doesn't make you anti-social to defend things more black-white.
When you discuss someone IRL you will also consider his feelings more and you will look him in the face and see you can't go any further. Different media, harder to tell the other players real feelings.
But as some topics are fought between 2 or more camps in a very hostile way and to the bone, we also see other topics get recognition for the others point of view, yet disagreement. The internet is filled with more extremes than the real world, but at the same time, as long as you know you are on the net, you know what to expect and you know that that person isn't attacking you, but your ideas.
The Flame wars on the forumns are not much different than the political wars in Congress. In many cases it is the subject of the flame war in the first place. It all boils down to some self righteous communist loving lefty who knows best how you and I should spend our money and time. If we do not conform to their preconceived image of what a "good" person is we must be "re-educated" or forced to conform to their politically or socially correct way of doing things.
To a slight degree. the Internet does offer social outlets, but nowhere near what many would consider "normal" social outlets, i.e. face to face based interactions. With that said though and based upon the article, it appears that the Internet isn't blowing over our basic instinct to be social.