The internet: This recession's Great Escape

According to a new study released by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, people are turning to the Internet to relax and take their minds of the current economic situation. But they're also going there to find out about what they are trying to escape from!

The study surveyed more than 2,000 individuals in early 2009, and found that three-quarters of online economic users go online to relax or as a diversion, and of this group, 76% also go online to get their financial news, look for coupons or perform other economic-related activities.

As any web user will tell you, the Internet's full of distractions. And for this group the biggest distraction was watching online video. This isn't a surprise given that in past recessions people have flocked to entertainment as an escape, the only difference now is that you can watch TV, movies and YouTube clips as distractions from any Internet connection. Listening to music and playing games were also popular activities pursued by individuals looking for distractions from their finances.

Pew Internet

Specifically, the survey found that online users in my age group, 18-29, were "more likely" to seek out relaxation and distraction online than other age groups, which is probably the best I've ever fit into a demographic.

This isn't to say that these individuals detached from the economy; quite the contrary. The survey found that 76% of individuals who go online to relax or as a distraction also go online for economic related activities.

Examples include: It's not clear if the individuals surveyed went online for economic news and found themselves so overwhelmed that they had to go watch a movie or listen to some tunes to relax but it was interesting to note that the individual's financial stability had little impact on whether they went online for a distraction. This goes to show that even if you've made it through the last year of turmoil relatively unscathed, the past 365 days have still taken their toll on your mind.
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