UK - Internet Linked to Higher Wellbeing

Arno Froese

Internet access and use is consistently associated with positive wellbeing, a new study of data from 168 countries by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) suggests.

The OII says some of its findings are “consistent” with reported links between social media use and depressive symptoms among young women.

“I anticipate that this work will be in some ways seen in contrast to the kind of the current social conversation surrounding tech,” said professor Andrew Przybylski, of Oxford University, who led the research. 

“If we’re going to make the online world safe for young people, we can’t just go in guns blazing with strong beliefs and a one size fits all solution—we really need to make sure that we’re sensitive to having our minds changed by data,” he said.

Researchers analyzed data gathered between 2006 and 2021 from two million individuals aged 15 to 99 worldwide, including from countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

In 85% of cases these showed associations between internet connectivity and wellbeing that were positive and statistically significant.

But 5% of associations linking internet use and community wellbeing were negative, with most of those observed among young women aged 15 to 24.

Previous OII work carried out by Prof Przybylski found there was no evidence that the global spread of Facebook was linked to widespread psychological harm.

Like Prof Przybylsk’s earlier research, this work, carried out with co-author Professor Matti Vuorre, is based on information from the Gallup World Poll, a survey of millions of people around the world., 12 May 2024

Arno's Commentary

This research shows positive effects on those with access to the internet. Information on virtually any subject, event, article, interest, or product is at our fingertips. True, that’s positive. 

An example: When planning to buy an air conditioner, it only took a few minutes to be informed of the tremendous differences in cost—not to mention the convenience of shopping for certain items. Price, quality, positive or negative experiences with certain products—all this information makes shopping extremely convenient. One does not need to drive all over town to check prices and availability at various retail stores to come up with the best possible choice.

However, the dark side of the internet is the subtle education/indoctrination guiding the minds of the world’s population in one direction. For example, “All religions are equal; the Bible is just one spiritual source and not exclusive.” One of the rather mysterious things occurring in our days is antisemitism, which is being widely popularized.

Here we are reminded of Revelation 17:13: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” This is in reference to the diabolical rulership of planet earth, as evidenced in the preceding verse: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” We emphasize this is happening in the invisible world. 

The prophet Daniel gives us the picture of the last gentile world empire: “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces” (Daniel 7:23).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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