Sara KIESLER : Social Psychology of the Internet

Publication Information : Book Title : Social Psychology of the Internet. Contributors : Sara Kiesler – editor. Publisher : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication : Mahwah, NJ. Publication Year : 1997.

Preface by Sara Kiesler, Carnegie Mellon University.

As we end this century and begin a new one, technological change has dealt another big surprise. Today’s surprise is the incredible spread of computer networks in society. Initially designed to help scientists and engineers connect to remote computers, networks spread through universities and technical organizations, then to the business community, and then to the public. The Internet has entered everyday parlance. It is featured in talk shows, in special business « technology » sections of major newspapers, and on the covers of national magazines. Companies offering Internet services that go public, such as Lycos and Yahoo, have seen their stock soar. How-to books on Internet programming are best sellers. Yet at this writing, only a minority of U.S. families are connected to the Internet, and just a tiny percentage of the world’s population has been online even once. The Internet lives in imagination more than in reality.

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