Why 15 Percent of Americans Refuse to Use the Internet?

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Why 15 Percent of Americans Refuse to Use the Internet

Why only 15 percent of U.S. adults will never read these words, simply because they refuse to use the internet. Not because they are illiterate, but because they do not use the Internet, which means we can theoretically say whatever we want about them in this forum.

What sort of backwooded utopia must these modest country folk live in, you say?

May I also poop in a hole and sleep outdoors, you ask?

No, no, you may not. We need you productive, citizen. Without you, we could not run this great country of ours and make it possible for 15 percent of the U.S. population to not be online. You, oh enlightened one, must be the harbinger of information for this section of the population. You must steer this box of lights and wires on their behalf. You harbor a power of unknowable greatness to this select group. You must wield it with empathy.

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Of those who say they do not use the Internet, Pew calls them “offline adults,” almost all of whom say they have no plans to go online in the near future.


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But where will their porn come from?

“Most offline adults either don’t see the Internet as relevant to them, or feel that it would not be worth the effort,” Kathryn Zickuhr, a Pew researcher and author of the report said. “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.”

(Fun fact: We are also a nation comprised of 80 percent angel believers and 50 percent alien believers. That number could increase or decrease, depending upon access to the internet and how one chooses to use it.)

Make no mistake, many of these members of the offline brethren fully understand the capacity of the Internet and are more than willing to bum a ride along the Information Super Highway when necessary. Of the offline adults surveyed, 44 percent said that they have asked someone to look something up online on their behalf. One in four reported living in a house with Internet access and someone who uses it regularly.

Even still, the survey found 34 percent of the offline Americans said the Internet is not relevant to them. They told Pew they had no interest in it nor need for it.


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Unsurprisingly, the population of non-Internet users increases, the older the age group, culminating in a full 44 percent of those over the age of 65 saying they never go online.

Of those surveyed, 32 percent said the process is too frustrating and cited spam, spyware and hackers as reasons for not using the web.

While it may be a valid concern, it seems arrogant to assume hackers would be interested in stealing pictures of grandchildren and recipes for snickerdoodle.

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