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Internet, phone make people happier, report says

| Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, 8:57 a.m.
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If money can't buy happiness, it can buy a mobile phone and internet access, and that apparently makes a lot of people happier, according to a report by Gallup and the GSM Association, a mobile industry trade group.

While the report stresses the role mobile phones play in improving people's views of their lives, the data from Gallup's polling suggests internet access may be the more important factor.

The study's authors acknowledge that near the bottom of the article reporting the results.

“Given the innumerable ways the internet has expanded human capabilities, it is perhaps no surprise that the most substantial well-being gains are associated with online access,” they say.

In the Gallup World Poll, people in 142 countries were asked to rate how good their lives were from zero to 10, with 10 being the best.

People without mobile phones or internet access gave an average response of 4.59 while those with both gave an average response of 5.92.

However, those with a mobile phone but no internet access gave their lives an average rating of 4.65 while those with internet access but no mobile phone gave their lives an average rating of 5.83.

A second survey that asked people which emotions they experienced in the previous day produced similar results. All the positive emotions they report push the score up while the negative emotions pull it down to give a final score.

People without a mobile phone or internet access had an average score of 1.20; those with a mobile phone but no internet access averaged 1.31.

People with internet access but no mobile phone averaged 1.54 and those with both averaged 1.77.

Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-1218, bbowling@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TribBrian.

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