15% of Americans Don’t Use the Internet

15% of Americans Don’t Use the Internet

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According to the latest survey, 15 percent of adult Americans DO NOT use the Internet. That’s right, there are actually functional adults out there who choose not to tweet, Facebook, e-mail, shop at Amazon or get jobs via LinkedIn. Reasons for this neo-Luddite action include the cost, complexity, fear, and, amazingly, the feeling that the Internet is simply not relevant to their lives.

This figure has remained pretty stable over the past five years. Right now about 85 percent of adults in the U.S. do use the Internet, but that’s only up slightly from 75% in 2008 and a little over 10 years ago only 60% were online. In other words, the growth of Internet usage in the past 10 years hasn’t been huge, and hidden among all the numbers is a small, but significant group that has actually stopped using the Internet. That’s right. They actually chose to cut off the endless stream of cute kitties, pop-up ads, porn, and badly reported “news” that passes for content these days.

“We’ve found that most offline adults either don’t see the Internet as relevant to them, or feel that it would be too difficult to start,” said Kathryn Zickuhr, a research associate at the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. What really stands out is that despite the best efforts of SEO freaks, marketing sharks, tech gurus and other bottom feeders, people are not falling for the lure of the web in droves. Those who chose to come onboard did so and stayed and those that said no thanks, stayed the course. The Internet is useful and a fact of modern life, but for many in this country and many more around the planet, the real world still trumps the virtual.

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