Internet 'can help build social links' header image

The emergence of satellite broadband and other technologies making it easier for UK consumers to get online has helped encourage people to use the web, with a new report indicating that internet use can be vital for forming connections between otherwise disparate communities.

A report from the government's chief scientist Sir John Beddington has suggested that traditional modes of identity are changing because of increasing access to and use of the internet.

"This can be a positive force, exemplified by the solidarity seen in the London 2012 Olympics," he told BBC News.

However, if it is ignored it can become a damaging factor in interpersonal relationships, the scientist suggested.

Furthermore, he claimed that so-called hyperconnectivity - as 4G and other developments make it easier for people to get online at any time - will ensure that the pace of change over the next ten years is rapid.

Professor Ajay Bhalla at Cass Business School told the Manchester Evening News that online shopping is having a major impact on the high street.

Posted by Justin McKenzie