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20% of Americans Don't Use The Internet

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posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:28 AM
I didn't really know where to put this so I hope it's in the right forum. If not, I'm sure it will be placed accordingly.

It seems that 20% of Americans don't go online, never have and don't plan on doing so in the future. According to the news article they see online activity as irrelevant to their lives.

Maybe I'm a bit naive about such things or maybe it's because I do so much business online that I found that number to be quite high. It almost seems to me like this 20% is some kind of "sub-culture" at this point because if the net went down all over the world tomorrow it would take quite awhile to get everything about our daily lives back on track, while those 60 million who don't use the net at all would be un-phased by it all.

Personally, I don't know anyone who doesn't have online capability. While it's true that I don't know many people personally, even during casual conversations with people the topic of being online or doing something online invariably comes up.

Am I the only one who thinks that roughly 60 million people in America who don't use the internet, even in a public library, is kind of high?

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:41 AM
reply to post by Taupin Desciple

Interesting. But I'm not that surprised really. Being in the computer industry, I do run across people who don't have internet, or even a computer. But these figures no doubt are skewed, in that they probably include homeless, mental facilities, and other factors they shouldn't. There's always a way to make statistics say what you want them to say.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:42 AM
20% not using the internet? That's not a surprise. Lots of people don't need it. Heck we went up until the last few years without humanity needing it. We can get along without it just fine. Lots of older folks don't bother with it and the population IS getting older ... so it makes sense.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:45 AM

Originally posted by Taupin Desciple

Am I the only one who thinks that roughly 60 million people in America who don't use the internet, even in a public library, is kind of high?

I think this was a key sentence in the article: "Most non-users have never used the Net before and don't have anybody in their household who uses it either, Pew's researchers discovered."

The non users aren't necessarily boycotting the internet, they're just not savvy enough to understand how it works and what you need to do to gain access.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:46 AM
I am old enough to remember BBSs and that is where I started. I, as with many remember the emergence of the internet and was there from day 1. Back in that day I tore the net up going here and going there, when the internet used to be fun. I can whole heartedly say that over the last several years my usage has drastically dropped, mainly due to the fact that now it is more of a hassle. I even find myself going to the library to research something, just so I do not have to deal with the internet and all its problems.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 09:50 AM
reply to post by Taupin Desciple

Line those numbers up along side the demographic for the elderly population.

Of what percentage is the united states made up of people in that pre-technical age group?

Old dogs and cats can learn new tricks, but, often they're reluctant to do so.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 10:20 AM
A great amount of my job is teaching people computers and Internet use.

It's not just an elderly or poor phenomenon. Perfectly capable and occasionally wealthy people in their twenties, thirties and forties approach me with regularity looking for instruction and it blows my mind how ignorant so many can be.

What's worse is of that 80% who do use the Internet how shallow and empty their use is. Just because you check your Facebook everyday does not mean you have real Internet literacy.

It's be like somebody claiming they are a "New Yorker" because they know how to hop a train and get drunk on a Saturday night.

I've gone into detail in a thread years back about how "ease of use" is creating ignorance. Once you had to know things, understand things and really work things to get what you wanted out of computers and the Internet. All of that is gone.

I see a generation that will flip the norm. Where the young once were able to grasp what the old could not we will have an aging population who will still need to hold the hands of the young when their "ease of use" equipment fails.

I see it everyday.

Last week I had to console a sobbing 15 year old who thought that because Windows Media Player played music by default that every one of his iTunes purchases were lost forever in the abyss.

There's no reason for a young adult of that age to not understand what happened. He shouldn't of even been allowed in front of a computer as ignorant as that. And he seriously should not have been balling his eyes out crying on his cell phone to mommy in front of me. I wanted so much to slap him and say "man up boy" but we all know what good that'll do.

Anyway, age isnt a gimmie. I've seen 80 year olds set up sophisticated networks and I've seen 21 year olds throw iPads across the room in frustration.

I almost prefer the 20% who are virgins to the others who think playing Farmville makes them uber 1337 haxxors.

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posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 10:24 AM
One thing that I've noticed is that my father blames the internet for almost everything you can think of. He still thinks that American jobs are going to come back so take it however you wish.

My point being, some people are so stuck in the 1950s/1960s. that they often remind others of how cheap things were back then. Of course, median income was lower due to a lower hourly wage. My father still thinks that people can graduate high school and go on to high-paying technical jobs. They can but most people are steered towards college instead of trade schools.

I've been in chat rooms with 60, 70, 80 year olds and they are no more worse than their younger counterparts.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 10:28 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

I miss when you could redbox pay phones.

I agree. Convenience and Ease Of Use is killing a generation. Psychologically these standards of Convenience and Ease of Use are giving an entire generation an air of entitlement.

posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 02:41 PM
Well that explains why cable news is still around and why people think their votes count. It also hints at why obama was elected and why romney is a "front-runner"! Imagine the power of 20% if they were concentrated in just one or two areas.

posted on Apr, 17 2012 @ 07:40 AM
20% only seems high because America has such a large population (300m+). If you look at it from the other side, 80% do use the internet - that's about 240m people. So while 60m people not being connected to the internet might seem a lot, in reality it's not such a big deal. Also remember that 20% includes those unable to afford the internet and those more old-fashioned people.
edit on 17/4/2012 by Dark Ghost because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 12:58 PM
My take? My boyfriend is 56 and he hates tech. His cell phone makes and recieves calls. That's it. He does not take texts or anything. He makes and recieves calls because I agree, that is what a phone is to do. End of story. I'm just turned 39 btw.

He never wants a computer, never wants net, hates smart phones. I don't blame him.

How many people do you see with their heads down in public on their smartphones? Or online from the moment they wake til they sleep if not working or get up, go on line, go to work, use the pc, come home, go on line? N one talks face to face anymore. Everything is expected to get there immediately due to the net and instant access,

Even the poster above: calling a kid ignorant cuz he didn't know where his itunes went? Is this now the norm? Are we as people assuming everyone must be net savvy to be smart? I've been using the net since 05 and I still don't know much. I had a Droid for a few years. Just recently gladly went back to a pay as you go dumb phone that makes and recieves calls. I do text however.

Point is, not everyone wants to be life dependant on the net or on their phone. I too hate when you talk with someone and they pull out their phone to talk to pals and are laughing and jokes and I'm left there going 'Um... hi? Would we talk better if I was font on a screen?" or you see people in restaurants on their phones....

Unplug. Love life a little bit. Life is not about the net. We did survive eons without it until what, 1993 maybe? It was then life started to turn off as people logged in more and more.

Shame. I envy those who don't have net. I personally love it, yet at the same time loathe it.

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 01:11 PM
Sad as the net is the only credible news source these days.

posted on Apr, 28 2012 @ 07:39 PM
I'm not surprised.

Heck, there's still parts of the country where the only internet you can get is dial up or satellite. In my neck of the woods you can't get anything over 3mb/s speeds. My sister and her husband recently bought a house in a sub division that was only 10 minutes from the UGA campass, and they couldn't get anything but dial up until last week, when the phone company finally ran dsl out there.

posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by ~Vixen~

I'll give you your 20%:

Many elderly, poor Appalachia, backwoods of states like Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska, on Indian Reservations, in Trailer parks, on the bayou, and in many cases, people in places like Peru, New York; Why, Arizona; Immokalee, Florida; and Boonville, Indiana.

Us City-folk forget about country towns...we don't see them and we don't consider them...a couple thousand here, a couple thousand there and it all adds up.

posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by sarra1833

In addition to what you just wrote, I'd like to add that when people are on their phones in your presence, it makes you feel excluded. I don't think that is a coincidence...

What I mean is that now that - as you said, everything is expected to be instant - comunication with friends can also be instantaneous social gratification. In the past, you could (of course) talk to people on the phone, but if they weren't home, or you weren't near a phone, you were kind of screwed in that respect.

Nowadays, anyone can have contact with whichever social actor they decide is necessary at that moment. I feel like it cheapens our relationships with other people, reducing our interaction with friends to the typical subjects of facebook and the banal bullcrap that happens to us in the course of a few ours of life in this big world (stubbed my toe, the waitress at Red Lobster just spilled a drink, LMAO, just heard the new Justin Beaver song, etc.).

On the other hand, it also means that we can cherrypick our social interaction. No longer are we expected to make small talk and socialize with people we don't know, or don't know very, if we're board, we can ignore our surroundings and have our mind transported to wherever our preferred friend or social engagement is.

Quite isolating for those without smartphones.

posted on Apr, 29 2012 @ 01:10 PM
I know someone who doesn't use the internet. She's in her 80's. Using a mouse would hurt her wrist because she tried it before. The small print on computer screens is too small for her to easily read. The small print on some restaurant bills is very small and I end up squinting my eyes to read it. I don't know why so many think smaller is better. I don't. She likes things not being complicated. Figuring out all the tiny buttons that go with all the remote controls for a DVD player, tv, vcr, etc. etc. is enough of a challenge. I believe there is a real market that isn't being satisfied that would really like easier to use buttons that are simplified and bigger and that market would apply to online use, remote controls of all kinds, and any other areas of life where print is small and hard for the elderly or sometimes regular people to read and use. My own tv remote is frustating to use if you accidentally press the wrong button and it goes into some other video mode and you have to figure out how to get it back. The people who programmed my remote I don't think were geniuses.

Some programmer or designer whether that is for cars, computers, or remote controls, may think it's great to tout all the features of what his program can do and jam it with lots of text, buttons, etc.. The elderly and many others just want to hit play, rewind, fast forward and stop and on/off. Life is complicated enough. Besides I bet many of the 20% know someone who can communicate via the internet if they need something.

I read 21% to 24% of all car crashes are caused by people talking or using cell phones or smart phones. Designers need to make life less complicated. We need to be less distracted. Figuring out where a button is or how to do something is costing many people time and in some cases their lives.

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