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15% of America thinks you are digitally irrelevant!
Updated: Tuesday, October 15 2013, 11:27 AM MDT
By Lonnie Valencia
Do you ever stop and wonder what a total stranger would think if they saw what you put up on Facebook or Google ? I know that I keep my wife in mind when I post stuff and half the time she thinks I’m “mentally not all there” for even considering some of what I post. If she thinks that, I’m almost positive that a perfect stranger considers my Google posts as coming from someone in a mental hospital. That said, I’m sure that I’ll have a remark or two confirming my suspicions in the comment section below. Nevertheless, there are 24 million people out there that could care less about what I post, you post, or what anybody posts as they consider the internet irrelevant. Irrelevant! Seriously?
This study given by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 15% of American’s are still off the grid. The number one reason given for their non-tech ways was the internet is just not that interesting to them. Wow, talk about telling the most popular girl in school she’s “plain Jane!” The internet was just told its not that viral after all. I can’t comprehend life without the net. Seriously! I leave my phone at home and throughout the day I feel like I’m missing a part of myself. I keep sliding my hand in my pocket feeling for a device that I’m hoping is magically going to appear so I can google something.
My internet addiction aside, it’s hard for me, from the inside of the looking glass, to see how someone can dismiss the internet entirely. If I’m reading the report correctly age, where you live, education, and your income all play a factor in the study. For example, if you are 65 years old, did not graduate from high school, make less then $30,000 a year, and live 50 miles from the nearest urban area chances are you are not surfing the web. This demographic will never see this article and they feel that I’m irrelevant. That hurts! I guess I’ll have to go on, one day at a time, hoping that one day they will log on and see what the rest of us see.
Some are using this report as a political stance to say that we need to increase our digital range and supply better broadband access. That’s great. I’m all for improving our communication ability nation-wide, but that actually rates lowest for reasons not to log on. To argue the point further, this report never takes into account DSL or cellphone carriers. Where’s the Verizon coverage map when you need it? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that some people are just content with what they're doing and don’t want to expand into something new--or I should say new to them. That’s perfectly cool. Look, at one point the FCC was given the task to put a phone in every home and even today there is still a percentage that say, “A phone? I don’t want that space age thing in my house!”
There will always be a percentage that will be resistant to change for whatever reason. Right now it’s 24 million people that don’t log on. Next year that number will decrease, and the year after that, and the year after that. For now, the net will have to do with the other 85% of us that are watching what the FOX says on youtube, making low-cal pastries from a google'd recipe and playing fantasy football. God bless the web.
That does it for this episode of Tech Talk Tuesday. As always we would love your feedback/suggestions for this or our next edition, so feel free to send your comments to our resident Tech Guy Lonnie Valencia.