Digital Israelis

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Arabs in Israel blog more than Jews, while new immigrant youth use social networking platforms to stay connected to the friends they left behind says study released on Monday (May 06, 2012) looking at how Israelis use the Internet.

Funded by Google Israel and carried out by academics at the School of Media  Studies  at the College of  Management Academic  Studies (COMAS) in Rishon Lezion, the study entitled ‘Israel in the Digital Age 2012,’ questioned more than 1200 respondents ranging in age from 12 upwards and from all different sectors of the population.

Overall, the study found that the online habits of Israelis directly reflect the country’s social, economic, cultural and religious make-up, with the secular public being more connected to the Internet than the ultra-Orthodox, higher earners and young people spending more time on social networking  platforms and Hebrew speakers preferring to surf  Hebrew-language websites.

Surprisingly  however, the study noted that  Arabs in Israel are much more active in blogging compared to the Jewish population. Roughly one-third (28.3%) of Arab speakers who reported to writing a blog said they updated it daily, while only 12% of Jewish bloggers said the same.  The study also found that  37%  of the Arab population that reads blogs does so everyday, while only 24% of the  Jewish population reading blogs does so with such frequency.

Researchers also noted that while many young people admitted to being extremely active on social networking sites such as Facebook, saying that the forum allowed them to stay in touch with friends, all new immigrant youth aged 15-17 interviewed for the study said they were involved in social media platforms.

Another of the study’s key findings was the overwhelming interest among Israelis in Hebrew-only websites, even for Israelis whose mother-tongue is something other than the country’s official language.

According to the findings, 67.5% of  Israelis surf  primarily in Hebrew, while only 16.5% prefer to use English. One-third of Hebrew-speaking users said they only visit websites that are in Hebrew.

In general, the study found that the overwhelming majority (70%) of Israelis regularly surf the Internet, however while only 7.7% of secular Israelis admitted to not being connected to the online world more than half (58%) of the ultra-Orthodox population here is not connected.

The study also found that more than half of Israel’s Internet users participate in a social networking service at least once a week, with younger users involved every day in social networking and older citizens (over 65) using it less. Research noted that respondents with a higher level of education level were less likely to use in social networks every day.

Many of Israeli Internet users (74.3%) utilize the medium to regularly watch videos online. However, it is the ultra-Orthodox public who use this format more than the secular. Almost 81% of the ultra-Orthodox public said they watch videos on the Internet, compared to 73% of secular people.

Comparing the Jewish and Arab sectors, the research found that 76% of Jews and 63% of Arabs watch online videos, although more Arab users (27%) upload videos than Jewish users (19%).

(read more at JPost)
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