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    In the past two decades, the Internet has become a very important tool: it has changed the way we obtain information, the way we communicate, and even the way we conduct business. Today, 24 percent of all Americans have three or more computers in the home and Americans spend an average of 19 hours online each week. In addition to the fact that the Internet plays a huge role in people's lives, businesses all over the world have embraced the Internet and are using this technology to enhance business activities and productivity. One newer Internet trend, social media networking, allows people to maintain their social relationships. In a recent study, 52 percent of Internet users stated that the Internet was important or very important in helping them maintain their social relationships ( Social networking also has given businesses the ability to develop "social" relationships with their customers. Businesses can be "up close and personal" with myriad consumers – a connection that was not possible before the introduction of the Internet and social media.

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    ​Montague, Iris B. 2010. Social networking: finding ways to incorporate social media into the forest products industry. Hardwood Matters: September 2010: 8-15.​​

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