'Offliners' Share Concerns About Going Online

Dennis Faas's picture

Almost one in six American adults do not use the Internet -- even occasionally -- according to a new study. But only around one-third of the "offliners" say they have no interest in ever using the world wide web.

The figures come from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, which regularly surveys the public about online issues. In a study carried out in May 2013 and published this week, Pew spoke to 2,252 Americans aged 18 or over. (Source: pewinternet.org)

Of these, 15 per cent said 'no' to the question of whether they use the Internet "at least occasionally."

This only left around 300 or so people to answer questions about their total lack of Internet usage (and that means the results are less reliable).

The researchers also broke down the results by demographics and found that age, educational qualifications, and income all affected how likely people were to use the Internet.

While only 15 per cent of all respondents said they don't use it, that figure rises to 44 per cent among people aged 65 or older.

Many 'Offliners' Lack Desire To Use Internet

The non-users were asked to explain why they don't use the Internet. Most respondents said they're "just not interested" or that they consider surfing the web a waste of time. Some said they were simply too busy to use the Internet. (Source: theverge.com)

About one in three non-users said they find the Internet too difficult to use, feel physically unable to do so because of a health issue or disability, or expressed being worried about security.

About one in five respondents said they either couldn't afford to subscribe to an Internet service, or didn't have a computer.

Nearly Everyone Has Local Internet Service

Just seven per cent of non-users (barely one per cent of the entire population) said they simply didn't have access to the Internet in the area where they live.

In follow-up questions the researchers found that, of those people who say they don't use the Internet, 44 per cent have asked either a friend or a family member to look something up online on their behalf.

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