8 out of 10 young people “feel lost” without the internet, says Science Museum survey


Young people have grown particularly accustomed to life online, with 8 out of 10 admitting to feeling lost without the web according to a recent survey. The opinion poll, commissioned by the Science Museum to celebrate Web Lab, an exhibition co-created by Google and the Science Museum, reveals the significant role played by the internet in our lives.

The survey of over 1000 adults demonstrates just how important people believe the web is. One in three would choose the internet over television, with 60 percent of people surveyed describing the internet as one of the most important inventions of the twentieth century; an opinion held most strongly by people living in London and the south.

Other findings from the Science Museum survey include:

  • 8 in 10 young people would feel lost without the internet, but only 6 in 10 above the age of 25 would also feel lost
  • Half of the women surveyed use the web to self-diagnose illnesses, with 60 percent of under 25s using the internet for the same purpose
  • Over 40 percent of people have taught themselves to cook using the web
  • A third of people have used the internet to learn how to fix something
  • Twice as many women than men look online for a wedding ring

Web Lab, which can both be visited physically in the Science Museum in London, and online via chromeweblab.com, has already attracted more than 2.5 million participants from 196 countries since opening in July 2012.

In Web Lab, visitors can see the workings of the internet brought to life through five unique interactive experiments including an internet-powered eight-piece orchestra, mechanical “Sketchbot” robots able to photograph and draw visitors, and a series of Teleporter periscopes displaying live images from across the world. Each Web Lab experiment uses a modern web technology to explore a particular idea in computer science.

Dave Patten, Head of New Media at the Science Museum said; “These survey results give a clear indication of just how integral the internet now is to people’s lives. If you are not one of the 2.5 million who have used Web Lab already, come along and take part in this truly global exhibition.”

Google’s Steve Vranakis, Creative Director, Google Creative Lab said; "We're delighted to have been able to open the Science Museum up to visitors around the world and we hope that the project continues to push the web forward."

Entry to Web Lab is free, both at the Science Museum and online, and is scheduled to run until Summer 2013. For more information, visit sciencemuseum.org.uk or chromeweblab.com.  

Images and content video available at sites.google.com/a/pressatgoogle.com/chrome-web-lab/

For further information about the Science Museum, please contact:

Will Stanley
Science Museum Press Officer
020 7942 4429 | 07971 312 915

Notes to Editors

The Science Museum and Google have also collaborated on an exhibition celebrating the centenary of British computer engineer Alan Turing, and will also partner on “Making Modern Communications”, scheduled to open in 2014.

About the Science Museum
The Science Museum’s collections form an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical change from the past. Aiming to be the best place in the world for people to enjoy science, the Science Museum makes sense of the science that shapes our lives, sparking curiosity, releasing creativity and changing the future by engaging people of all generations and backgrounds in science, engineering, medicine, technology, design and enterprise.

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