How Cultured is our use of the Internet?

Difficult to say but the European Commission have tried to come up with some figures as part of their Cultural Access and Participation Survey.

It was “…carried out by TNS Opinion & Social network in the then 27 Member States of the European Union and in Croatia between 26 April and 14 May 2013. Some 26,563 respondents from different social and demographic groups were interviewed face-to-face at home in their mother tongue.”

I suppose the initial difficulty is defining what is cultural and then cross referencing this definition with care and knowledge to internet usage.

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From the UK factsheet (pdf) available from amongst the 27 country selection we can see that:

  • 43% of us use the internet for cultural purposes at least once a month which compares with 40% for the EU as a whole
  • 7% of us don’t have internet access v’s 14% for the EU as a whole

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What do you use the internet for in terms of cultural purposes?

UK EU 27
Reading newspaper articles online 53% 53%
Searching for information on cultural products or events 39% 44%
Listening to radio or music 41% 42%
Downloading music 36% 41%
Watching streamed or on demand movies or TV programmes 33% 27%
Buying cultural products, such as books CD’s or theatre tickets 30% 27%
Playing computer games, interative or not 25% 24%
Visiting museum library or other specialist websites to improve your knowledge 22% 24%
Downloading movies radio programmes (podcasts) or TV programmes  25% 22%
Reading or looking at cultural blogs 22% 21%
Putting your own cultural content online, eg a social network or sharing site 13% 11%
Creating your own website or blog with cultural content   9%   7%
Other (Spontaneous)   4%   4%
Don’t know   3%   2%
Source: European Commisssion, Cultural access and participation 2013
Compilation: I.co.uk

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Click to view

Moving on to what we actually use the internet for when in cultural mode we’ve tabulated their findings for you. Interesting to see that in the 12 real options the word cultural appears 4 times and “… to improve your knowledge” once!

We wonder whether there’s a whole new sector out there within the internet where one “appreciates” rather than “likes” and “supercedes” rather than follows!

For the avoidance of all doubt we would not classify this as a “cultural blog”!

Summary of the EU  survey (pdf)

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