Sydney: Kids who used e-mail at home turned out to be lot brighter and more popular than their peers who did not.
Genevieve Johnson, psychology lecturer at Australia`s Curtin University`s School of Education who conducted the study, analysed responses from 51 boys and 44 girls at a Canadian primary school.
She likened the situation of boys who did not use e-mail to that of boys from an earlier era not familiar with TV.
"Think back to when you were a little kid if one of your friends didn`t have a lunch box with the latest cartoon characters on it - because they didn`t watch TV - they were almost socially isolated because they didn`t know what was going on," Johnson said.
"So when we say that children who use the internet under certain circumstances are more popular - that`s true," said Johnson, according to a university statement.
The surveyed girls were more likely than the boys to use e-mail at home but at school the girls and boys reported very similar use.
The similarity between boys` and girls` e-mail use suggested internet teaching at school may be closing the technology gender gap.
"We`ve got this impression that the internet, including games, is something bad. This is totally inconsistent with the vast majority of my research," Johnson said.
"I cannot say that every single online application is associated with positive developmental outcomes - but most are," she concluded.