Patt Morrison for April 17, 2012

New Pew report says one in five adults doesn’t use the Internet

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Center for Medicate & Medicaid Services' Web Site Project Management Director Ana Nunez-Poole (R) helps Medicare recipient Gladys Parrish (L) to compare Medicare-approved drug prices on the internet May 3, 2004 in Washington, DC.

Online culture is thriving, yet according to a new report by Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, one in five Americans never goes online. The report says those who avoid or don’t have access to the Internet mainly include senior citizens and people in households earning less than $30,000 per year.

Why are these citizens eschewing Internet use?

The main reason, for half of those interviewed by Pew, is they don’t think the web is relevant to them, according to the report. About one in five say they just don’t know enough about technology to start checking out the web on their own. Also, according to Pew, minority residents are still less likely than white people to have home broadband internet access, despite a 22 percent jump in broadband adoption among black Americans by 2010, well above the national average. Facebook, Twitter and other social media dominate the lives of many Americans, along with email, cell internet access, online video and music streaming services.


Are Internet non-users more and more out of the mainstream of economic and cultural life? Is this you? Do you know someone who stays away from the Internet, either for personal, cultural or economic reasons?


Aaron W. Smith, senior research specialist, Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, and coauthor of a Pew report that one in five American adults does not use the Internet

Karen North, clinical psychologist and director of USC’s Annenberg Program on Online Communities

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