Although some argue that Internet use may erode involvement in public life, the most common Internet behaviors, social communication and information searching, may actually foster social and civic participation. To examine this possibility, we test a series of non-recursive models using a national survey of nearly 3,400 respondents. Two-stage least squares regressions were performed to simultaneously test the reciprocal relationship between frequency of Internet use (i.e., hours per day) and three sets of community engagement behaviors: informal social interaction, attendance at public events, and participation in civic volunteerism (i.e., annual frequency). Time spent online has a positive relationship with public attendance and civic volunteerism. No evidence of time displacement from frequency of Internet use is observed.
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