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9 in 10 young Costa Ricans use e-mail for the better, study says

June 20, 2008

Nine out of 10 Costa Rican students age 12 to 24 are using e-mail, according to a recent University of Costa Rica (UCR) study, whose authors say the activity is having a positive impact on young people’s lives.

“What we’ve found is a positive correlation in general terms between young people and the use of technology, especially computers and the Internet,” said Juan Manuel Villasuso, director of UCR’s Information and Knowledge Society Program (PROSIC).

“We find that the young people who use technology most have a more positive attitude toward life, better academic performance, more social life – the opposite of what a lot of people think,” he said.

However, he said, a small group experiences physical trouble, such as back problems because of excessive use of technology.

Villasuso said that the rate of e-mail use among youth goes up with age. “There’s a higher usage among students between 21 and 24 than young people from 12 to 15, for example,” he said.

The study found that the most frequent use of e-mail, 40 percent, is to share jokes and other entertaining content between friends, followed by 23 percent for group academic projects.

 

PROSIC in the past few years has conducted general studies on Costa Rican society’s advancement with technology, but the report presented yesterday is the program’s first to focus entirely on children and young adults.

The study’s results are based on a May-December survey of 4,037 high-school and college students, rural and urban, and do not include people of the same age who have already left school.

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