On the Internet, as in life, men and women have different motivations for doing what they do. According to a recent report from Pew Internet and American Life, women view the Internet as a place to extend, support, and nurture relationships and communities.
Men tend to see it as an office, a library, or a playground--screw the community, this is about function not family.
The report found that women are more enthusiastic communicators, using email in a more robust way. Not only sending and receiving more email than men, women are more likely to write to family and friends about a variety of topics, sharing news, joys and worries, planning events, and forwarding jokes and stories.
While both sexes equally appreciate the efficiency and convenience of email, women are more likely than men to value the medium for its positive effects on improving relationships, expanding networks, and encouraging teamwork at the office.
"Women also value email for a kind of positive, water-cooler effect, which lightens the atmosphere of office life," reads the 54-page report.
The report found that women are more likely to use the Internet for emailing, getting maps and directions (after all, we men always know where were going), looking for health and medical information, seeking support for health and personal problems, and getting religious information.
Men tend to be more intense users than women, being more likely to go online daily (61% of men and 57% of women) and more likely to go online several times a day (44% of men and 39% of women).
Men also tend to go online in greater numbers than women but for a much broader variety of reasons. Men are more likely to use the Internet to check the weather, get news, find do-it-yourself information, acquire sports scores and information, look for political information, do job-related research, download software, listen to music, rate a product/person/service through an online reputation system, download music, use a webcam, and take a class.
Note there was nothing about "nurturing relationships."
Here are some stats for the number crunchers:
67% of the adult American population goes online, including 68% of men and 66% of women.
86% of women ages 18-29 are online, compared with 80% of men that age.
34% of men 65 and older use the Internet, compared with 21% of women that age.
62% of unmarried men compared with 56% of unmarried women go online.
75% of married women and 72% of married men go online.
61% of childless men compared with 57% of childless women go online.
81% of men with children and 80% of women with children go online.
52% of men and 48% of women have high-speed connections at home.
94% of online women and 88% of online men use email.