… according to a Pew study discussed in an insightful manner by Erick Schonfeld on TechCrunch. He is asking the fundamental question: Who are these folks who wouldn’t be reading this website, or any website for that matter, at all?
For me, since I happen to be able to remember a world without the internet, I remember first trying Mosaic in 1994 and thinking to myself this will change everything (hence my 2001 monolith image). Is it a matter of access or are there people who will never get online?
The Pew research center put out survey results on broadband adoption and Internet use in America. There was one data point that I found startling. According to the survey, 21 percent of American adults say they don’t use the Internet. One fifth of all Americans.
This isn’t just people who do not use broadband (which is 66 percent of American adults). It also includes people who don’t use dial-up (another 5 percent). These people don’t use the Internet at all. That is like not using the telephone.
The number is a bit inflated because a third (34 percent) of these self-described non-users live in a house with Internet access or have family members who use the Internet regularly. They just don’t think the information on the Internet is relevant to their lives (48 percent), are uncomfortable with computers (60 percent), and are not interested in getting online (90 percent).
Who are these people? I can understand why elderly Americans who didn’t grow up with computers not seeing the need for them. And that is certainly reflected in the broadband numbers. Only 31 percent of people 65 or older are on broadband, compared to 80 percent for those 18-to-29 years old. People without a high school education, with low incomes, or who live in rural areas also are less likely to use broadband. It is likely that these demographic groups also make up a disproportionate number of the non-users.
Read More: Erick Schonfeld on TechCrunch