European lawmakers underuse the internet according to new research.
The findings show that while three quarters of MEPs use their personal websites to reach the electorate, only a minority understands the potential of using online technologies to help them interract with people. Only half visit blogs once a week or more, and two thirds have never heard of the social networking tool Twitter. James Stevens is from the Brussels-based agency Fleishman Hillard which conducted the survey: “All MEPs are using the internet and are certainly being inspired by the sucess Barack Obama has had, but I think one also has to recognise that our MEPs have come a long way in the last 5 years as have these tools : 5 years ago, in 2004, Twitter did not exist, Youtube did not exist and Facebook was only used by university students in the US,” he said. Most MEPs still believe digital tools are less effective than traditional forms of communication even though research shows Europeans spend more time online than using any other form of media.