Skip to comments.15% in US shun Internet; most intend to stay offline
Posted on 09/26/2013 6:53:50 AM PDT by upchuck
Despite a seemingly unstoppable move to digital lifestyles, some 15 percent of Americans don't use the Internet, and most are quite content to remain offline, a survey shows.
The survey released Wednesday found that in addition to the 15 percent of adults who don't use the Internet on any device, another nine percent say they only go online at their workplace.
The report by the Pew Research Center found a whopping 92 percent of these "offline adults" with no interest in using the Internet or email in the near future.
"A lot of people are surprised to discover that not everyone is online," said Kathryn Zickuhr, a Pew researcher and author of the report.
"Most offline adults either don't see the Internet as relevant to them, or feel that it would not be worth the effort. And though many have had some experiences with the Internet in the past, most non-Internet users say they are not interested in going online in the future."
The survey found 34 percent of the offline Americans said the Internet is not relevant to them, that they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
Another 32 percent in this group said they believe using the Internet is difficult or frustrating to use, or cite issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers.
Pew found 19 percent of non-Internet users cited the expense of owning a computer or online connections, and just seven percent said the Internet was not available to them.
The report said the percentage of Americans using the Internet grew sharply from 1995, when just 14 percent were online, but has held in a range of around 75 to 85 percent in the past few years.
Age was a major factor in Internet usage: 44 percent of those 65 and older said they do not use the Internet, compared with 17 percent of the next-youngest age group, 50 to 64.
In the 18-29 age group, 87 percent use the Internet and just 13 percent do not, Pew found
Those with lower incomes or less education, and Hispanics were also less likely to go online.
Some 41 percent who failed to finish high school were not using the Internet, as were 24 percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of those in households earning less than $30,000 per year, according to the researchers.
Urban and suburban dwellers were a bit more likely to go online than their rural counterparts, the researchers found.
But those who are offline are aware of the value of the Internet: 44 of the offline adults surveyed said they have asked a friend or family member to look something up or complete a task on the Internet for them.
And one in four offline adults live in a household where someone else uses the Internet at home, a proportion that has remained relatively steady for over a decade.
One in seven, or 14 percent, of the offline group said they had previously used the Internet, but have since stopped for some reason.
Among the Internet users, most had broadband access, with just three percent using dial-up connections, Pew found.
The report was based on a survey of 2,252 adults from April 17 to May 19. The margin of error was estimated at 2.3 percentage points for the full group, 2.5 points for Internet users and 5.9 points for the non-Internet users.
we are forced to use the internet to file court docs now
I don’t. Its the devil’s work.
It’s almost impossible to operate in today’s world without the internet. Same goes for debit cards. By design?
Agree, if you have kids then you are always told to use the internet for homework, if you need an application to a sports team then they tell you to use the internet, I know people who have to put their hours over the internet to get paid.
If I did not have kids I’d probably not have the damn internet as E-mails and that crap bugs me.
I just go on to get what I need in terms of information and education and get off. Surfing gets so boring after a while.
Even some Amish do business on the internet.
There is a parallel issue to consider in addition to what this article is saying...
That is, where one gets news. I get 100% of my news via the internet. If this 15% gets their news from TV or rags, I contend a problem for them. Internet news is on-demand, self-seeking and individual-based; TV/rag news is pablum, generally filtered down from one source, the AP.
OK, now that I got the joke out of the way, I thought this was interesting.
I know there are still places in the US where wired broadband isn't available. But, I wonder how many people are still using dial-up because they don't know any better, or can't afford DSL, etc.?
I'm surprised there are any significant numbers of dial-in modems still being maintained. While my laptop still has a modem, I don't think I've used one for over 10 years.
I know that AOL is still collecting monthly subscription fees from legacy subscribers that think they still must pay AOL for access to "the interweb". I'll bet that few of them actually use any AOL services, and simply use the browser embedded in their client to surf the web.
Unless, of course, you're surfing on FR :)
Email, FR, Google, Drudge, Weather Underground etc but NO banking, bill paying, Facebook Twitter, etc.
Debit cards: I don’t use them. Only used one, once, by accident. Put the card (I do use occasionally for bank ATM) in a gas pump instead of my regular credit card, but otherwise have NEVER used debit card.
I just got DSL LAST YEAR! I Was on expensive hughesnet satellite which is NOT broadband at all....
FWIW, I live out in the country and there is no “wired” high speed available here. I could go satellite, or wireless modem but both are pretty expensive and appear to not be very reliable.
Supposedly, the Feds are spending our tax dollars to bring high speed out here but I think they missed my house.
I would love to do without the net, but then I’d have to get my news from the MSM....arghhhhh!
(Of course, talk radio does save the day...as long as the libs let that last.)
Party pooper. :-(
There, internet, you've been shunned.
I get all my news from internet too, no “latebreaking” TV “news”, no newspaper.
People will say “did you see the article in the newspaper? and I will say nope
Be of the internet but do not be in the internet.
You have seen, step by step and by ever-increasing stride, the development of a dependency that would not have existed a generation ago. Could anyone today relate to those hardy pioneers who started out across the Great Plains in their prairie schooners in the convoys known as the wagon trains, with unknown barriers to their objective, by geography, by diseases, by famine and thirst, and by hostilities from persons unknown to the travelers?
Probably not, but this was how people migrated since antediluvian times, and sometimes, they were successful.
These new dependencies have destroyed something that humanity once had, a knowledge that when things went badly, there was still a broad array of options to cope with the situation. Disconnect from the internet or the electronic net that blankets the world for even a few days, and most people are totally adrift.
I couldn't help but ask the man if he had a phone in the store. He was furious that I had heard it and he didn't answer me. :)
Can't hold too much of a conversation with her ... 34 yo, married two kids.
I'm praying for and working on the kids.
I have a friend who’s so anti-internet...when he said he was looking for a car, I went to Craigslist on my smartphone to see if there were any deals, and he immediately left and went home as though I were consulting with the Devil.
I just go on to get what I need in terms of information and education and get off.
I have to use the Internet for work. We also have DSL at home, partially for when I’m on call and partially for my wife who is home all day.
But the Internet is a tool. It can be a tremendous resource, or it can be a dangerous distraction..
We have some rural property in WV and there are no plans for any sort of Internet access in the area nor cable TV - the neighbors are all on dialup or satellite. If we were to move there, it would be a difficult adjustment, but we’d manage. There is a single cell tower nearby so we could likely technically set up a link, but frankly cell data rates are still too expensive even assuming the tower wouldn’t block us for using too much bandwidth. Public library or McDonalds is always an option I suppose.
Biggest thing I’d miss about the web (besides FR, of course) is easy access to weather satellites without having to sit through 20 minutes of news anchor babbling before they get to the weather forecast.
Same here. Not just the 400 meg per day download limit sucked, but if you ever tried using VPN the latency was so bad that a 56k dialup was faster. The old dish is now a campfire pit with .308 vent holes.
My worthless brother-in-law (If you know him he probably owes you money)does not use the Internet. He already knows everything so he has no need of it.
If he did get on line he will find he does not know everything and there are those who will eat his lunch if he spouts his nonsense on line.
We believe that is the real reason he will not get on line.
“The survey found 34 percent of the offline Americans said the Internet is not relevant to them, that they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.”
The vast majority of them have no clue WHAT is on the internet, and view computers as nothing but something used to store business records or figure spread sheets.
It is hard to get through to them that the knowledge of the entire world and information about everything is on the internet, available free to everyone.
I tried to explain that fact to both of my older brothers but it was a brick wall.
Much of the blame for that lies with the media for never reporting about anything online except chat-rooms, porn, or online dating.
I’m increasingly of the mind that we SHOULD carve out a certain amount of unplugged time in our lives.
I’m seeing more and more people suffering what can only be described as “internet addiction”. Getting sucked into a virtual world for more and more hours per day, leaving the real one behind.
This summer I’ve had to stay home while recovering from spinal surgery- so I’ve spent many hours reading actual books (still not using kindle) and in between a lot of surfing. I’ve learned so much. I go to google earth and zoom in on a state..then start clicking on the picture icons..which invariably leads me to go to another site to find out more about...whatever it was that interested me.
I’ve “traveled” all over the country- places I’ve never been and likely will never see in person. When I find a spot that intrigues me I put it into yahoo search and go look at zillions of images or find articles etc.
In this way I’ve discovered things I’d never known about The Johnstown Flood, The Gold Rush, The Amish, Ruins and abandoned houses all through the beautiful Hudson Valley, houses and history and wonderful nuttiness of the Gilded Age, how geography has changed along the east coast over time...on and on and on. That’s the wonderful, often dizzying thing about the internet..one thing leads to the next.
I mean who knew that Ma Barker and one of her sons were killed in the longest FBI shootout on record (over 4 hours)in a little rented cottage on Lake Weir in Florida? THAT search led me to more FBI and bad guys history..
I have had a blast and while I REALLY look forward to going back to work- I’ve enjoyed every internet minute I’ve had this summer:)
I’ve got 2 brothers like this..they get spoon fed their news from T.V. (MSNBC of course) and the local Commie newspaper.
for them, it’s not a situation where they are taking a moral stance, or have a desire to emmulate Thoreau, etc..
it’s sheer laziness and alcoholism..
they prefer to smoke and drink their money away, rather than learn anything new... computers are far to interactive ( hahhh!! )for them.. they prefer just vegetating and staring blankly at a TV screen..
I don’t care what anyone says, I believe this is the real motivating factor behind this...
a certain percentage of the population is just plain stupid and lazy and they like it that way. Unfortunately, they vote. now if we could just get them to stop doing that. Someone who doesn’t have a computer is someone who is a leftie, because a their viewpoints come from the television.
I’m on dial-up. 26k! Have been for years. But the homeschool kids are starting to need more online time, and we have to keep taking them to the library.
There’s no broadband nor DSL available to me. Hoping to get Wildblue hooked up in a few months.
They haven't gotten to me yet, either.
I’d thought you’d at least get nominal 56K.In my case ,before going DSL the dial-up didn’t support 33.6K in 1997 but was upgraded to 56K a year or two later.My connection topped out at 50K most often,and more usually 46-48K.
Believe it or not, dial-up was fine for sites without lots of big pictures or video.Small video in a “128x160 pixel window” worked o.k.
But 12 hours to update windows or download an iso of Linux or something was a bit inconvenient.
DSL at 256K came along in December 2004 and is now 3Mps ;the fiber lines are laid just waiting for us to opt for the new service and bill.Up to 100Mps IF you can afford it!
The switch to fiber optics is mandatory at an unspecified date within the near future.
And the phone co-op has NO option for people wanting only a phone!!Internet is part of the cheapest bundle at $65 plus taxes which the lady said means about $88 total.For someone like my mother wanting only a phone this means doubling her monthly bill for no benefit.And this rural area has very poor cell service;my neighbor on disability drives a mile to a spot where his cellphone gets signal.
Another thing is the new fiber optic phones will go dead during power outages ;supposed;y the wall unit battery pack will provide phone power for a few hours but I know from experience that batteries on constant charge will fail within a year .And you will only find out when the device doesn’t work.
Really ,if today’s websites did not insist on pushing video and the servers did not refuse a connection from it I would likely still be quite happy using my 1999 iMac DV Lime ,56K modem and Netscape Communicator.
OMG, they surely are very socially deprived persons!!!! /sarc
If 15% are off the net the feds must be going nuts trying to get info look for drones?.
I wanted to comment(that is if I had interweb service) and then I saw the source. I don’t care what the French think.
I hated the internet we were forced to use at work. Everything we did had to be posted in shared files, so others could plagiarize our work and claim it as their own work. I was so happy when I retired and got away from the usual grind.
Now I can just sit here and FReep at will.
I applaud those who don’t use the Internet. People got along just fine without it for as long as people were around. People get so caught up in Facebook and tweets discussing irrelevant subject matter, such as the fact they’re having an expresso at Starbucks or walking along eating a cupcake. Pretending they know a place because they saw it on the Internet. So immersed in virtual reality that a real world out there is invisible to them. (I’m a techie long addicted to the Internet and seeking to escape it’s allure.)
Where I live, neither wired broadband or DSL is available. I literally live on the wrong side of the tracks. Friends who live 1 mile from me (across the railroad tracks) do have DSL. My choices are dial-up or satellite. We have satellite, as we no longer have a house phone.
No one goes on the Internet anymore; it’s too crowded.