Honey, I Shrunk the World! The Relation Between Internet Use and International Engagement

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-213
Journal / PublicationMass Communication and Society
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Scholars have long been interested in the overlap between electronic communication systems and international affairs. New communication systems have brought an expectation for greater information flow and connection across geographical boundaries when compared to the systems that came before them. This study continued this longstanding scholarly interest by examining how the Internet facilitates a sense of connection to the international community at the individual level. Findings demonstrate that the Internet matters for international engagement. According to the results, the Internet connects individuals to the international community by helping them increase their knowledge of the world, facilitating their sense of belonging to the greater world, and motivating them to participate in international events and foreign volunteer opportunities. Further, findings suggest that younger users of the Internet tended to benefit more than older users from reading international news on the Internet with respect to international political knowledge and international participation.