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Buying on the internet

The question

With internet company stocks riding high in the FTSE 100, we ask: have you ever bought anything off the web?

I have not purchased anything on the Internet. I know it is bound to be advantageous to check products, prices and place orders. But what concerns me most is that the ability to communicate face to face with others will be lost. Imagine archaeologists excavating graves in the future and finding the remains of humans that have gone through a major evolutionary change as a result of the internet. What would they find? Enlarged eye sockets in skulls which once contained huge bulging eyes strained by staring at monitors, tiny ears (not receptive to conversation), elongated fingers as a result of excessive keyboard use, stumpy legs as a result of not having to leave home and massive buttocks to spread weight during long periods of sitting. Scary.

Gary Underhill, 38, senior engineer, Rugby

I recently bought a diving holiday to the Red Sea off the internet. Some sites/products I would like to see are: videos of lectures and meetings (live or recorded) held at Great George Street so I could 'attend' more regularly (and claim more CPD days); an electronic tendering process, including being able to download standard forms; and web-cams in site offices!

Steve Pitcher, engineer, Humberside

We have bought IT software and hardware, and made travel arrangements on the internet. More excitingly, we gained a new client using just website visits and e-mail exchanges. We didn't even speak on the phone.

Susan Ferguson, 45, project management consultant, Norfolk

I have already bought books and CDs over the internet, and would consider purchasing computer hardware and software, and groceries. I would expect much business-to-business activity using the internet also but, as a consulting engineer, this may be limited to buying in-house requirements.

Colin Sherwood, 51, principal engineer, York

I am buying a car through New Cars Direct on the internet. It was due to be delivered yesterday having been ordered on Thursday (2 March). I believe I have achieved a better discount than through local dealers.

Martin Sachs, 48, group leader Highways, East London

I would buy books, computer parts, and possibly gifts - avoiding seasonal shopping peaks.

David Barker, 57, director geotechnical/bio-engineering consultancy, Kent/Surrey

The only thing I would consider is a car (from Europe). But I am still very concerned about security. I haven't bought anything on the web yet.

John D Brownlie, programme director Shrewsbury

I would consider purchasing most things on the internet when time is short. However, there has to be a balance to prevent us becoming a race of computer chair potatoes.

Jonathan Rogers, 28, coastal engineer, Mouchel, West Byfleet

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