Internet Use Boosts Life Satisfaction Worldwide

A massive global study reveals a clear link between internet access and higher levels of happiness and social wellbeing across the globe.

Researchers examined data from over 2.4 million people in 168 countries, looking at responses to questions about internet use, daily experiences, life satisfaction, relationships, and other aspects of psychological wellbeing. The results were strikingly consistent - those with internet access reported greater life satisfaction, more positive daily experiences, stronger social support, and better overall wellbeing compared to those without internet.

This finding held true regardless of country, age, gender, or other demographics. The only exception was young women aged 15-24, who reported somewhat lower "community wellbeing" scores with higher internet use, possibly relating to social media's documented negative impacts for that group.

While the large sample size and standardized wellbeing measures give confidence in the core finding, the study has some important limitations. It captures a snapshot, not changes over time, and relies on self-reported data which can be biased. More research using objective data tracking and longitudinal designs is still needed.

Importantly, the study does not prove internet use directly causes improved wellbeing - it simply shows the two are correlated. There could be complex factors behind this link that have yet to be untangled. But globally, at this point in history at least, human beings with internet access simply seem happier.

Image: DIW-Aigen

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