Internet, smart mobile phones or similar technological devices increase the satisfaction and quality of life of users because it increases the feeling of freedom and control over their own lives, sometimes even more than income. Some early thoughts based on information and communication technologies and their users are myths.
ICT is seen almost exclusively through the prism of increasing productivity and earnings, and is considered to be a bad influence on the quality of life, so that we isolate from society and push apart.
The reality is significantly different, according to a British research institute of The Chartered Institute for IT titled Why it makes you happier, which was conducted and published in 39 countries (www.bcs.org). The conclusion is that research in the UK and around the world, ICT has become an important part of life satisfaction and sense of well being, and in some cases perhaps even more important than income levels.
Digital gender division
Use of ICT gives us a sense of freedom and control over our lives, which are very important elements in the perception of prosperity.
Helps us to strengthen the independence of individuals, especially those with lower incomes and lower levels of education and members of groups that have less social impact.
For most people, this is not just cheap entertainment, but also a window into the world, an opportunity to learn something new and to get informations they can use.
Speaking of digital gender division, men and women have different relationship to ICT and the Internet. About men, there is a connection between the frequency of use and enjoyment of life - the more men use ICT, they are more satisfied. The study found that among women, and there is no correlation.
New users derive more benefit
New users (those with less than two years experience) are also a group that has a greater benefit from access to and use of ICT. Most use the Internet to connect to social networks (Facebook, Twitter…) and applications (Skype, Gtalk…) used them to send instant messages (IM).
Experienced users give more importance to e-mail and online shopping. This is, because they started to surf before the explosion in popularity of social networking, slowly adjust this new trend.
This does not mean that ICT has a negative effect on experienced users. On the contrary, research in Britain showed that any denial of access to the Internet and its use had a significant negative impact on the feeling of more experienced users.
It is interesting that the majority of respondents at the beginning of the use of ICT felt anxiety and even fear. Once they have managed to overcome technology barrier, ICT has brought the most joy in their life, and for someone, turns their life into better.
Surfers use the Internet has enriched their lifes because of the opening of additional opportunities of social contact with family members and friends. This is the largest positive contribution ICT to our lives.
Tool for increasing welfare
Based on data collected the researchers formed the index information felicity (general well-being - IWB), which measures people's ICT satisfaction in communication, use of social networks and getting information.
The index consists of 11 indicators, among other things, besides the availability of ICT services and a sense of freedom and independence. Those are two important factors welfare of the nation.
At first glance, the index shows a strong connection with the gross domestic product, because the richer they have a better ICT infrastructure and ICT are satisfied. At the top of the Swedes, followed by the Dutch, Americans and Britons. Of 39 observed countries, Slovenia is the 13th place, and Serbia at the 29th (Republic Srpska, unfortunately, is not included in the study, op. A.) At the bottom of the table are the poorest countries - Mali, Vietnam and Ethiopia.
But if we exclude the impact of ICT infrastructure development, it shows a different result, with Zambia has the first place, and drop the index in Japan, Germany and France. In that regard, the most satisfied are people from Zambia than the Japanese, at least in terms of ICT.
Zambia is a country of pioneers of internet usage in the region, and the government realized its importance, and back in 2005. established a universal fund for ICT.
A good example is Brazil, which ranks third as a result of government activities to the Internet closer to the poorer citizens. The biggest loser is Japan, which fell by 17 places, and then France and Germany, who fell 16 places.
Those countries should consider how they can increase citizen satisfaction.
If we exclude the impact of GDP. The big exception is China, which is at the very bottom. Scientists explain this result by the Internet access in the country is limited.
What lessons can be drawn ICT industry and politicians?
It pays to provide access to these technologies to people with lower incomes and little education which brings felicity to the people.
The technology must be geared towards enhancing the quality of life.
The vision of any government or city should be connecting all ICT devices to the Internet and to connects all the good things that can increase the welfare of its citizens.
Example of e-health, is the best example is the ICT industry in the service of mankind - citizens can access to the health services easily and thus directly to users, improve the quality of their lifes.