Reason for Not Subscribing to Internet Service

In the last days we’ve been having an interesting debate whether personal computers should be subsidized or not, and if PC costs where the reason behind having no access to the Internet at home. A first article about this issue can be found here and a sort of revision here.

As if aware of this, Parks Associates have released the results of a survey where they state, without hesitation, that offline Americans see Internet of little value. The charts speak for themselves:


As seen in the first chart, just 14% already have access at work and are not willing to be connected 24×7 (I know some of these people and I think it’s a growing trend due, in part, to the intrusiveness of some mobile devices powered with permanent connexion). The ones willing to be connected but still offline sum up just 25%. The remaining 61% simply don’t want to be online because it’s useless. This is one of the strong points that Ben Compaine made in his book and, again, some days ago.

But the question is: why don’t they find any use in the Internet? is it because they identify it as an entertainment device and not an educational or work device? I remember talking to Bill Dutton and Rebecca Eynon about what they called digital choice, being my question if it was really a matter of rational choice or just a new variant of digital illiteracy or lack of e-awareness. It might well be that cyberoptimists are overselling the web, but I somehow believe that it is just a matter of understanding the economic benefits of the Information Technology Revolution.


If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Reason for Not Subscribing to Internet Service” In ICTlogy, #42, March 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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1 Comment to “Reason for Not Subscribing to Internet Service” »

  1. My belief (which has no basis whatsoever, I’ll confess) is that we are talking about some sectors who have never bought a newspaper, or even watched the news on TV. I don’t think we are talking about the digital divide but the education divide so, with that sector of society, maybe we should walk before we run.

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