International

South Korea’s Race To 100% Internet Access

Out of the 19 million homes in South Korea, a government survey found that 99.2 percent have access to the internet. Up by 3.2 percent from last year, South Koreans over the age of three are all plugged into the World Wide Web. What makes this truly amazing is when you consider the fact that only three-fourths of homes in the United States have access to the web.

The proliferation of smartphones in the hands of the entire population — but mostly the elderly and children — are the main cause of these rising internet implementation rates. It’s been reported that senior citizens are one of the larger user groups surfing the web. Dubbed “silver surfers,” those above the age of 60 are mainly using the internet as a means of communication in instant messaging apps.

From map navigation to shopping, banking, cloud usage and more, nearly every connected area imaginable is rising in South Korean user activity. Data shows three-fourths of respondents were utilizing maps, and over half were playing online games three to four times per week. Of particular interest is the popularity of instant messaging, as survey results show 88.3 percent are using some form of a messenger app.

Now, although internet connectivity is normally seen as a good thing, there’s always a not-so-shiny side. It was found that 99 percent of respondents go online at least once per week, where they spend an average of 14.3 hours. Teenagers have shown signs of internet addiction, and parents are now enrolling their children in rehab centers for treatment. Given our world’s continual increase in connected devices and services, receiving help for this particular type of addiction may be a very tough road ahead for us all.

As more people get online to communicate with one another, we just may see internet addiction rehab centers popping up all over.

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