Issues of becoming an Internet user primarily in non‐work contexts are discussed. The author reviews individual, social and economic factors motivating network use. Main findings of an empirical study based on the interviews of 23 Finns in 1997 are analysed. In addition, comparisons are made with the findings of the Consumer Research Project (1996‐98), conducted in Finland. The main motivating factors leading to network use were the requirements of work and study; also making everyday transactions easier, for example by home banking, was seen as important. The network connections were also acquired for keeping in contact with others and for hobbies, whereas entertainment purposes were not valued.
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