Thursday, April 17, 2003


THE EVER-SHIFTING INTERNET POPULATION: A new look at Internet access and the digital divide

From the Summary of Findings: “While 42% of Americans say they don’t use the Internet, many of them either have been Internet users at one time or have a once-removed relationship with the Internet through family or household members. This report focuses on several new findings about those who say they do not use the Internet:
•Net Evaders: 20% of non-Internet users live with someone who uses the Internet from home. Some of these self-described non-users exploit workarounds that allow them to “use” the Internet by having email sent and received by online family members and by having others in their home do online searches for information they want. Others proudly reject the Internet and proclaim their independence from the online world.
•Net Dropouts: 17% of non-Internet users were once users. Most of them are dropouts because of technical problems such as broken computers or problems with their Internet Service Provider. This number of “Net Dropouts” has increased from the last time the Pew Internet & American Life Project asked about dropouts in April 2000. At that time, 13% of non-users were Net Dropouts.
•Truly Disconnected: Some 24% of Americans are truly offline; they have no direct or indirect experience with the Internet.
Internet access is also fluid for another reason. Between a quarter and half of current Internet users say they have dropped offline for an extended period at one point or another in their online life……..Pew Internet Project tracking data show a flattening of the overall growth of the Internet population since late 2001. Internet penetration rates have hovered between 57% and 61% since October 2001, rather than pursuing the steady climb that they had showed in prior years. One possible explanation for this leveling trend is that the number of people dropping offline roughly equals the number of newcomers who come online each month.” Principal author: AMANDA LENHART; APRIL 16, 2003.

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