You’re reading this article. You probably checked your email at some point this morning. You also posted a Facebook update, checked your Twitter feed, or scrolled over reddit too. I know you did – I won’t tell your boss.
To you, it’s inconceivable that in this day and age, there are people who don’t use the internet for these things. Sure, there are those who have decided to spend their lives living off the grid. And there are also those whose life circumstances make internet access a low priority – or even impossible. But that’s a pretty small portion of the population, right?
Well, according to a recent study from Pew, it might be more than you think. According to their research, 15% of Americans do not use the internet – at all.
And the majority of these internet-abstainers are staying offline by choice – not because they can’t access the internet.
Here’s the breakdown by Pew:
Asked why they do not use the internet:
34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it; 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys; 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection; 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
Over 1/3 of offline Americans say that they simply don’t have any interest or need to use the internet. Strangely enough, nearly half of the offline Americans surveyed said that they have asked a friend or family member to look something up for them.
Only 8% of those surveyed said that they have any desire to connect – this includes those who are simply unable to connect due to cost or availability issues.
The data for Pew’s poll comes from phone interviews, so the 15% of the population who are not online at least have cell or home phone access. To me, 15% seems like a pretty high figure. What do you think?
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