Still, 1 in 7 adults isn’t online, many because it’s hard to use; the digital divide is about design, not money

PewEveryone is online, right?  Wrong. About one in seven U.S. adults don’t use email or the (not quite the whole) worldwide web, according to a poll published by Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.

Many in the disconnected crowd are older and poor, as one might expect.  But a large number of those who say they don’t go online — roughly one-third — simply choose to be offline, telling researchers they’re “just not interested,” or it’s not worth their time.

Most surprising, fully one-quarter of this offline group make a decision to stay unplugged on a daily basis, in their homes.  Pew calls them “Internet adjacent” — someone else in their household uses the Internet, but they resist.

Another 14 percent of the offline group say they were once Net users, but disconnected at some point.

“It would be really interesting to learn when they first [went] online, when they stopped, and why,” said researcher Kathryn Zickuhr, who wrote the study, based on a telephone poll conducted earlier this year.

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About Bob Sullivan 1638 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

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