New study finds that 15% of Americans don't use internet

By on September 26, 2013, 8:30 AM

To most regular TechSpot readers, the thought of having no internet might be a little disconcerting. After all, many of us use the web day in and day out to connect with friends, play online games, conduct research, manage our finances, and organize our lives.

However, a new study by research firm Pew has discovered that 15% of Americans don’t have Internet, while 5% think that the resource is completely “irrelevant”. It’s important to note that the respondents were all aged 18 and over, so the slew of children who have grown up in the technological era aren’t included in these figures.

To learn more about these results, Pew asked people their reasoning for not going online. The most popular reason was that it’s a waste of time, it’s not relevant to them, or they have no need or interest in the service (34% of non-internet users). Other reasons stemmed from the high setup and service fees, living in an inaccessible area, or simply finding the internet overly complicated to use. Several respondents (32%) explained that going online can be a frustrating experience, and that they constantly worry about problems such as spam, spyware, and viruses.

Furthermore, for those that do have internet access, their connectivity methods vary greatly. 76% of American adults connect from home, while 9% connect from elsewhere. Understandably, a lack of finances was the main reason why these individuals did not have a home computer, or chose to access internet from an outside source (44%).

Other interesting tidbits are that 3% of internet users still use dial-up, and that 44% of non-internet users have asked others to look something up on their behalf.

Be sure to read the full Pew report here.




User Comments: 13

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Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Savages!

But really, studies have shown that there are a lot of older people who do not use it and among those who make 20k or less a year there is a high rate of non-users so 15% isn't terribly surprising. I would expect it to drop as the older generation passes and the younger generations age.

Joshw Joshw said:

"44% of non-internet users have asked others to look something up on their behalf."

It can't be that useless then lol.

psycros psycros said:

The number of Americans with no practical Internet service where they live is actually *growing* and is now closer to 20%. One has to ask: how is it that all of the other utilities manage to service virtually every address in the country, no matter how remote, but ISPs can't?

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

That's just Americans. Worldwide the percentage is bound to be much higher.

TheDreams TheDreams said:

How did they conduct this study? How did they find out peoples results and responses, I wonder if the internet was involved...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

How did they conduct this study? How did they find out peoples results and responses, I wonder if the internet was involved...

I take these "surveys" with a good dose of potassium. I think 99% of them are thumb sucked. Mind you, if this was more or less accurate, it wouldn't surprise me. Here in South Africa the figure is about 65% or so I'm told.

Tygerstrike said:

The sad part is that most of your old ppl dont use the internet, not because they cant use it, but that they REFUSE to learn. I live in a town that has a REALLY high elderly population. You tell them they they can find the information online and they stare at you like you have two heads. In my job position I have to help customers with a variety of electronic issues. Sometimes the fix is looking up information online. I have had many elderly say that they would rather buy a new item then try and "learn" how to use the internet. Its frustrating. I can find information on any electronic device within 5 mins of looking online. I tell this to the elderly and they get mad at me for suggesting that they can use the internet. SO "revelance" does play a part, but the reality is that OLD PPL DO NOT WANT TO LEARN ANYTHING NEW!!! I even asked a elderly gentleman why he wouldnt help himself out and instead of driving over 50 miles to get his problem taken care of, why he didnt just go online and look it up. I was told by him that once you reach a certain age you no longer CARE to learn.

I really hope that statement proves false in my case. I know the generation that "grew up" with the internet has no issues with use. But the older generation just refuse to use it.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Amazing that a lot of users still think the internet is the end all and be all of existence. But the old term "off the grid" is being employed now more than ever and not just by "old" people, mainly because more people than ever are turned off by the internet and all that it has become. Just read the comments section of almost any site and you'll find it populated by intellectual dregs, flamers, and trolllers. Walk down any city street or have a cup of coffee at any Starbucks and look at all the tech zombies made undead by their devices. The Golden Age of the Internet lasted from 1995 until 2005-2007. Now everything from the Appleization of commerce, the Googleization of privacy and the Facebookification of social intercourse have corrupted the internet.

negroplasty negroplasty said:

Probably the same percentage of people that can't read.

Khanonate said:

The sad part is that most of your old ppl dont use the internet, not because they cant use it, but that they REFUSE to learn. I live in a town that has a REALLY high elderly population. You tell them they they can find the information online and they stare at you like you have two heads. In my job position I have to help customers with a variety of electronic issues. Sometimes the fix is looking up information online. I have had many elderly say that they would rather buy a new item then try and "learn" how to use the internet. Its frustrating. I can find information on any electronic device within 5 mins of looking online. I tell this to the elderly and they get mad at me for suggesting that they can use the internet. SO "revelance" does play a part, but the reality is that OLD PPL DO NOT WANT TO LEARN ANYTHING NEW!!! I even asked a elderly gentleman why he wouldnt help himself out and instead of driving over 50 miles to get his problem taken care of, why he didnt just go online and look it up. I was told by him that once you reach a certain age you no longer CARE to learn.

I really hope that statement proves false in my case. I know the generation that "grew up" with the internet has no issues with use. But the older generation just refuse to use it.

Maybe the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is somewhat true.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

I feel like this is because of the fear media install in people. For example, Facebook and Twitter may be a hard to grasp concept for some of the older citizens.

Raoul Duke Raoul Duke said:

The sad part is that most of your old ppl dont use the internet, not because they cant use it, but that they REFUSE to learn. I live in a town that has a REALLY high elderly population.............I really hope that statement proves false in my case. I know the generation that "grew up" with the internet has no issues with use. But the older generation just refuse to use it.

My father is 78 and is close to being an computer addict, including a huge amount of internet use. He stays at home mostly so the computer and the net are his 'thing to do'. Other people I know are exactly as you say so as a generalization unfortunately I think you are 100% correct. Perhaps it depends on previous education. My father was highly educated and smart so computers don't faze him. He doesn't use social media though, by choice

Guest said:

So many arrogant people here. You guess you all sound like "civilized men" not so long ago [few centuries - time where your mindsets felt like home] going all over the world to "civilize savages" who just don't see how good is to be civilized.

Yet I could bet that any person in these 15% still can manage to live if you turn their electricity off. Let alone without internet since this is all about that. I highly doubt you would. Panic comes to my mind when I imagine average internet user like most of you are trying to overcome sudden disappearance of most important thing in modern life. You wouldn't be a horse I would bet on if things ever go wrong. For your information, people lived before internet. I mean if you didn't know and I must admit to be so arrogant and call them savages just because they don't spend time online is very tollerant thing to do. Especially to think you are better than someone else just because their way of life is different. Sounds and look so fantastic. If nothing else you convinced me that internet made people rude and selfinvolved more then ever. As of brain development I have significantly strong suspicions internet and technologies in whole have a good impact on memory and inteligence. If anyone of you lose acces to Google or any search engine somehow it appears to me you would have very big problems to prove your IQs. Mayn can't even do the math without comps, mobs and internet.

To not mention, I suppose they are people who can find friends and know how to socilize where it matters. In reality. And above all keep friendship alive longer than faceless ones on mighty internet.

Foir the end one quote:

"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of ******." Albert Einstein

It sounds right. Yet there are certain doubts it is really what Einstein said but nonetheless is true. I apologise I can't check credibility since I depend on internet same as most of you do and in library, without it, most probably I'd feel like elephant in glasshouse. Totally lost, clumsy and probably stupid.

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