A new report shows that the biggest users of the internet aren't lonely geeks sitting in their bedrooms mindless surfing the internet, but outgoing people that use it to boost social interaction.

In a new survey carried out by the Pew Internet & American Life Project its report, “The Strength of Internet Ties”, highlights how email supplements, rather than replaces, the communication people have with others in their network.

The report also shows that 45% of internet users say the Internet has played an important or crucial role in helping them deal with at least one major life decision in the previous 2 years. That is a 33% increase from a similar survey in early 2002.

“The larger, the more far-flung, and the more diverse a person's network, the more important email is”, argues Jeffrey Boase, a University of Toronto sociologist who co-authored the Pew Internet Project report.

“You can't make phone calls or personal visits to all your friends very often, but you can ‘cc' them regularly with a couple of keystrokes. That turns out to be very important.”