Article

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 375-389

First online:

Internet Communication Versus Face-to-face Interaction in Quality of Life

  • Paul S. N. LeeAffiliated withSchool of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Email author 
  • , Louis LeungAffiliated withSchool of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • , Venhwei LoAffiliated withSchool of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • , Chengyu XiongAffiliated withSchool of Communication, Tsinghua University
  • , Tingjun WuAffiliated withSchool of Journalism and Communication, Huazhong University of Science & Technology

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

This study seeks to understand the role of the Internet in quality of life (QoL). Specifically, it examines the question of whether Internet communication serves, like face-to-face interactions, to enhance quality of life. It is hypothesized that the use of the Internet for interpersonal communication can improve quality of life among Internet users, just like face-to-face communication in everyday life. Sample survey data were collected in four Chinese cities, namely Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, and Wuhan, to serve as replicates to test the hypothesis. The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) of Diener (1984) was used to measure quality of life in the four cities. It was found that contrary to our expectation, Internet communication cannot predict quality of life while face-to-face communication with friends and family members can. The result was the same across the four Chinese cities. Possible reasons for this finding are examined and discussed.

Keywords

Quality of life Internet communication Interpersonal relationship Satisfaction with life Social support Social interactions