Sunday , September 20 2020

42% of Americans Still Offline

New study finds surprising number still in another century:

    More than half of nonusers said they don’t want Internet access or don’t need it, a study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found.

    It’s not just a matter of not being able to afford a computer or a connection, although cost did play a role for about a third of the nonusers. What PC enthusiasts overlook, but skeptics don’t, is the time it takes to learn to use these technological tools, and the fact that the technology is often frustrating. Those issues play a role in why the dramatic rate of growth in Internet use has flattened out since the end of 2001, the survey’s author said.

    “What we’ve seen since the end of 2001, is that net growth has really stalled,” said Amanda Lenhart, principal author of the study.

    ….Half of the people not using the Internet are over 50 years old, Lenhart noted, while people enrolled as students are the group most likely to use the Net.

    Internet use also continues to vary by race, income and education level, according to the Pew report. While only 40 percent of white Americans are nonusers, 55 percent of African Americans and 46 percent of English-speaking Hispanics are offline as well. Forty-one percent of nonusers have a yearly household income below $30,000 and a quarter of them did not graduate from high school. People living in rural areas and in the South are also less likely to go online.

    Thirty percent of nonusers said the price of going online is a major reason for their abstention, and nearly as many said they don’t have time or that the Internet is “too complicated and hard to understand.” Fifty-two percent of this group said they simply don’t want or don’t need the Net. Nearly a quarter of nonusers said they have never tried going online and know few others who log on regularly. [Washington Post]

That figure seems relatively high, but look at it another way: 58% ARE online, and the most of the non-users are either old, stupid, poor, living in a shack in a holler, or some combination of the above. I bet another group of nonusers piggyback off of users.

For example, my mother: she is 70, and although she used a computer in her real estate office until she retired several years ago, she wouldn’t go near a computer now. BUT, that doesn’t stop her from asking me to send an email for her, or look up directions to somewhere and print them out, or do a search for someone she hasn’t talked to in 30 years, etc. In other words, she knows what many of the capabilities of the Internet are, and doesn’t hesitate to have someone else do the surfing for her. I am certain she isn’t the only “nonuser” like that.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: [email protected], Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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