TheDigital Future Study, backs Kraut research as the study shows more than half of the people surveyed said the internet was important or very important tool in maintaining social relationships. Some reasons for the change of research is there is an increase in the social media platforms available, internet usage has increased and people are more aware and comfortable with the use of the on-line tools. Another reason is because people are substituting previous activities for time spent on the internet. For example chatting with friends on the internet has replaced talking on the phone.
Another way in which social relationships have changed is people meeting on-line instead of at public venues. Minitel,described in the below video, was developed in the early 1980's and was a critical moment as this lead to developing on-line chat rooms.
Today there are many on-line dating sites and other sites if you are interested in meeting people with similar interests. Friendships are forming through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The internet enables people to meet others with similar interests in a comfortable environment.Digital Future Study shows that there has been an increase in on-line friends becoming in-person friends. Internet users in 2000 reported an average of less than one person who they originally connected with online and then later met in person. Since then, the average has risen steadily, and in the current Digital Future Study has reached 2.5 people. Even though earlier studies have shown that social interaction was predicated to decrease, later studies have contradicted those findings. Today, we can observe that social interaction has increased, not decreased, just the tools have changed. The internet has provided many positive opportunities for people to develop new social relationships and to maintain friendships when there are barriers such as geographical.
According to Clay, "Publishing used to require access to a printing press, and as a result the act of publishing something was limited to a tiny fraction of the population. Now, once a user connects to the internet, he has access to a platform that is at once global and free". This statement is true but the internet and printing press have both made a significant difference in the publishing industry even though the internet reaches the world in an instant. If the printing press was not invented, there would be no mass production of books, people would continue to be illiterate and no-one would of created the internet as no-one would be able to use it. The internet is text heavy so internet users would have to know how to read and write. Once the book was able to be mass produced, society evolved socially,politically etc. If there was not this flow of development, society would not have evolved to where we are today.