Internet Use and Volunteering: Relationships and Differences Across Age and Applications

  • Maximilian FilsingerEmail author
  • Markus Freitag
Original Paper


The internet plays an important part in our daily lives. In this paper, we ask whether internet use is negatively related to civic life when focusing specifically on formal volunteering. Furthermore, we account for group-specific and activity-specific internet effects. Using a representative population sample of Switzerland, we show that internet use decreases the probability of undertaking voluntary work. This result is qualified in two respects: First, we find that the negative relationship between internet use and volunteering is more powerful among young people than older adults who are more likely to volunteer when they use the internet. Second, the use of social networking sites seems to mitigate the negative influence of internet use on volunteering.


Internet Social media Age Volunteering Voluntary organisations Social networking sites 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Political ScienceUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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