The internet has become ubiquitous in people’s lives. It is used for entertainment, communication, research, information, travel, gambling, gaming and much more.
There is a need for evidence based research on the effect of the internet on people’s lives. The companies that are building the architecture of our world need and are starting to ask for regulation; effective regulation is informed by research.
Research on internet behaviour and its effects has for the most part been done by psychologists who depend on self-assessment questionnaires and psychometric tests for their data; there is a need for research based on actual internet behaviour rather than self-reported. Computer scientists are well positioned to determine how to access, and manipulate big data generated from internet use ; psychologists can best determine how to interpret what this data can reliably tell us about human behaviour. Multi-disciplinary teams of psychologists, computer scientists and others can provide the answers to questions on what people are actually doing on the internet and with what impact on their well-being.