18 votes

7% of Americans don't use the internet


  1. [3]
    (edited )
    Popular culture appears to be shifting categorically in the direction of "the internet and all things online are good by default, unless proven otherwise," but I'm curious if we'll begin to see...
    • Exemplary

    Popular culture appears to be shifting categorically in the direction of "the internet and all things online are good by default, unless proven otherwise," but I'm curious if we'll begin to see greater nuance in this mindset over the next half-century and beyond. I'm thinking primarily within the contexts of:

    1. Physical health, in that sedentary behavior is largely a prerequisite for a serious online presence; or at least in that it does not necessarily offer an incentive for activity in the way of, say, a physical sport.
    2. Mental health, in that the "perpetually online" are, despite the advantages of being connected, almost undoubtedly putting themselves through/being put through pain they otherwise wouldn't be.
    3. New (pseudo-retro) aesthetic and philosophical understandings of the internet that ground life foremost in the absence of such materials, especially in regard to childhood education and self-actualization within the presumed reality of the "real world" versus the definite hyperreality of the online sphere.

    This is expressly contrary to the theme that dominates the general consciousness right now, both in regard to public discourse and futurism as an artistic movement, but I've begun to develop an expectation that our collective use of the internet will decline substantially by the end of my lifetime. And not because society has collapsed—this is possible, but irrelevant. Nor would it be because we have moved to the Internet 2.0, in whatever form it takes; that is, a super-internet beyond that which we currently inhabit—this is a tempting plot development to consider in favor of a climactic telos for humanity's narrative, but is far from an inevitability.

    Instead, I would posit that we will begin to recognize the internet not as "a necessary component of being," or even "the way to experience the world more fully," but rather as one, singular way to appreciate life; and merely one among a vast quantity of potential alternatives, with none of those alternatives being mutually exclusive. I'm certain that, to modern sensibilities, this is either a truism or utterly absurd; indeed, to internet powerusers, it sounds like I'm repeating the predictions of suburban mothers in the 1990s: "Why should we get a computer? This whole 'internet' thing is going to blow over in a couple years." Certainly there are some or many who agree with me, but this view is virtually never espoused by people who use the internet regularly. It has become accepted in all technological circles that the internet will forever dominate our way of life; to transhumanists it has become accepted, at least implicitly, that we will be subsumed by it. The only people you ever hear openly doubting the eternal hyper-prevalence of the internet outside the context of impending anarchy are out of touch with the technology, and it has become standard practice to immediately ignore their perspectives on the basis that their being so means they are completely out of touch with reality.

    It is a popular view for good reason. Psychologists have been aware for some years now of the immense power that technology, specifically the internet, can have on our sense of self-image, social engagement, and reward—as proof, you must look no further than the integration of positive feedback (in the form of likes, or equivalent) on literally any social media platform ever. And there are clear economic advantages to having a strong online presence; older generations may have gotten away with limited online personas because they have stable careers and extensive professional networks, but their younger counterparts rely on the internet at least partially as a means of self-advertisement. My mother does not have a LinkedIn because she has not had to explicitly search for employment in 25+ years; in her line of work, her reputation often precedes her. This is not so for most individuals. Educationally and politically, the internet also opens up avenues for learning to such extents that one may hardly conceive of a world that fails to integrate the online medium into daily life for these purposes. The internet is also, of course, just fun to use. I am on Tildes now because I happen to like talking to other people. What cataclysmic event could possibly overshadow all this?

    The answer lies, I suspect, not in any specific event, but in the accumulation of granular internet-associated problems with both an individual's life and society's culture. We currently don't have a good understanding as a society of what exactly a generation consumed from conception to passage with the internet looks like. The closest we've gotten so far is in some younger Zoomers, and they're like 13; hardly representative of "the human experience." Many members of such groups exemplify the meaning of "internet addiction" from a young age, and their elders may to varying extents exemplify it among themselves, for their respective age groups, but our understanding of the human life cycle does not yet comprehend of such a magnitudinous level of online interaction as young Generation Z will likely receive in its anticipated 80+ years of being. We have no good reason to believe that any present generation will simply give up on the online, even if individuals do; it is too useful and too powerful to forsake—and in favor of what, exactly, would it even be abandoned? There's no compelling alternative. But as the online medium matures over the course of several decades, and in tandem with an immense number of simultaneous sociopolitical and technological developments, I believe that our cultural understanding of what the internet is will fundamentally change in a way that makes the internet less of a novelty and more of a single piece in the puzzle.

    To be sure, I am under no delusion that the internet will disappear at any point in the future. As stated, it has substantial utility in any number of ways that, realistically, will not be superseded by any medium short of post-human neural augmentations (whose imminent ubiquity, as I alluded to earlier and for reasons I will elucidate shortly, is questionable). The oral tradition represents the only narrative element that humanity has been utterly absorbed by—except perhaps language in and of itself, at a more fundamental level; or even thought, though by nature of its individual focus, this extends beyond the realm of culture and is outside the scope of this subject—and the medium has indeed characterized human modes of consciousness for millennia. I've referred above to the Aristotelian concept of the telos; by this I mean some amalgamation of "end," "purpose," and "goal" (at least these are the terms most often used to explain it; I have not found a satisfactory equivalent for it in English, so I simply use the Greek). The telos of the protagonist of a narrative may perhaps be whatever end-goal they have been provided by the author; or within the avant-garde, perhaps what the audience has provided. As fictional characters are by definition not conscious, they cannot determine their own telos. But, also by definition, they may serve as simulacra of entities in the real world, in this case real humans; and in doing so they offer us pathways into self-understanding as visceral as those we genuinely inhabit. Very much in a position to influence, the false histories and fantastical sagas of the human mind have imprinted themselves upon the frameworks through which we conceive of ourselves. We recognize ourselves as "the main character in our story of life." This is a modern colloquialism, both in its phrasing and in its post-Enlightenment secular implications, and thus rather anachronistic beside Aristotle—for it is only through the pervasiveness of existentialism that we have been able to depart from an understanding of ourselves in the "narrative" as supporting characters. To Hobbes, morality (and, by extension, purpose) derived from the Sovereign, and to many of the theologians of his age and ours it derived of course from God (please refer also to Alasdair MacIntyre's 1981 treatise After Virtue for further discussion on this shift and the abject failure of the Enlightenment to solve in and of itself our recognition of self-purpose). But the concept behind the phrase is in fact a necessary ingredient of how it is that human culture exists as human culture, and not as nonsense. That is to say, by every person's individually recognizing the significance of narrative as a structural component in their own sense of selfhood while serving as constituent members of a society, they have translated their internalized understanding of the narrative from the individual to the collective. For humans to understand their place as self-conscious individuals in the universe, they must witness in themselves an embodiment of the protagonist. For humanity to understand its place in the universe, we have determined that we (as a collective) must have a collective telos. The existentialists denounce this, and so too does popular culture; it reeks of religion, and we are no mere sheep to serve the telos of God! And yet popular culture embraces it wholeheartedly in practice. For what would the purpose of maintaining our society be if not to reach a later climax? The "march of progress" supposes that we are ascending yet. Science fiction is obsessed with the idea of colonizing the universe, of harvesting its energy, and of eventually becoming post-human. Our telos is occasionally thought to be a singularity of self-actualization; Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey suggests an ascension to, in my interpretation, a higher manner of consciousness (see also: Clark's Third Law, or Shermer's Last). In a certain sense, to many a post-humanist, humanity's telos is to escape the confines of the narrative altogether.

    Or so the thinking goes. I am no atheist, but I would comment on the similarity between such predictions and the concept of life after death; to a given person, they are individual forms of salvation disguised as collective ones. "Science," or what popular culture perceives science to be, merely stands in for religion as the structure from which an individual may derive their telos. I believe that one would be mistaken to consider the telos of humanity to necessarily include an escape beyond itself; at least I take issue with the assumption among many, whether implicit or explicit, that through the power of internet we are on a journey toward this destination and none other—extrapolations as advanced as these must also be taken on faith. While I hardly find a post-human existence impossible, I do find it implausible in the formulation conceived of by science fiction writers. I must explain myself more specifically in order to persuade the reader of my argument. The internet, I believe, will continue to increase in complexity and connectivity over time. As an entity in and of itself, it will always serve its purpose of conveying information between individuals more efficiently than most or all other media. But I think it is false to suppose that efficiently transferred information has inherent meaning if it cannot be parsed—both syntagmatically and in relation to some external context. The internet, on its own, can only bring us to such a telos as the one described above if it serves as a conduit of information between individuals who are already capable of using that information. If they aren't, it does not matter how advanced or integrated the internet becomes: beyond a certain threshold, its power means nothing. In my opinion, we are already at this point. The massive proliferation of misinformation (or disinformation) online within the past decade has shown me that, in practice, telling truth from fiction may be realistic for individuals, but is not so for society at large; and that an increase in the scale of the information being conveyed (in comparison with previous eras) does not solve our inability to parse said content, but rather exacerbates it. This is a rather simplistic remark, and easily attacked; certainly I believe we live in a society less ignorant of itself and its environment than its previous iterations, and better communication is a part of that, but I feel that we are beginning to reach the limits of what "good communication" entails. Various recent elections and the ongoing global pandemic show me hints that even a deluge of scientific data does not correspond directly to a genuinely better collective understanding of a given issue; in fact, not infrequently, it detracts from our understanding. I am reminded here of Jorge Luis Borges' "The Library of Babel" in Ficciones (1941/1962); taken to the logical extreme, a library with an infinite amount of information is both infinitely useful and useless (mostly the latter).

    If the issue is human comprehension, computer scientists will point to developments in machine learning as an indication that artificial information processing will soon surpass that of its natural progenitors. They are probably correct in saying so, but what such predictions conveniently omit is a corresponding increase in data for such machines to operate on. For every new machine learning algorithm to help us decode fact from fiction, or relevance from irrelevance (thank you, Google et al., genuinely, for your search engines), we will also be sifting through the content of similarly advanced creational algorithms. I would posit that the relationship between "ability to process" and "stuff to be processed" will never be 1:1; in fact, I think that for each linear increase (of an arbitrary unit) of the former, we will see an exponential increase in the latter. This is largely unfounded speculation, and I have no wish to discuss mathematics right now, but I simply cannot conceive of a world in which excess information—the to-pre-processed—is not present, nor any in which it does not enormously outweigh any system's ability to process it. The machines may eventually reach such a point that they are "indistinguishable from God," but that does not contradict the above or actually necessitate human involvement beyond a certain point. To set off such a reaction we actually just have to design the machines in such a way that they operate off each other, in a feedback loop, after which we are not explicitly relevant to their ability to process information. I'm not so pessimistic as to believe strongly in a fatalistic hypothesis here (the concept of AI-prompted human extinction is of little interest to me in general), but unless we integrate ourselves into that AI, as self-consciousnesses, then it is the machine becoming post-human (not that it was human before), not us. Thus the greater question is whether we can modify our own mental faculties to expand our ability to process information via the internet or some variation thereof. I am sure that this is physically possible. It is plausible, even, that we will see non-trivial neural augmentations and the like in our society in the future. But even if this does occur, I feel that, as with the internet itself, there is no guarantee of eternally increasing uptake—the only pathway toward the post-human singularity.

    Where I feel theorists have traveled astray is in supposing that "the march of progress" (to something "beyond the human"), as I described above, is something that 1) exists, and 2) if it does exist, that it necessitates an abandonment of present ontological modalities. I don't think that this assumption is backed up by the nature of material reality or the human condition. At a certain point, we do have to recognize that, however much we like the idea of "humanity's telos," the group is still comprised of individuals with their own interests and desires. And this is what I believe science fiction writers generally completely miss the mark on. There is a great deal more to the human condition than trying to internalize as much raw information as physically possible to make every single brain chemical fire at the same time forever and without stopping. That's essentially all that an arbitrarily more connected internet can do, even if that connection is a chip in our head, and the fact of the matter is that that concept simply isn't appealing to all or probably even most people. Psychologically, we know that the internet can keep us hooked for hours and hours by means of a series of complex reward mechanisms. Psychologically, we also know that being that invested in the online can create a lot of burnout. This isn't obscure knowledge, either. The idea of a "social media break" is well within the popular consciousness, and generally thought to be a good thing, even if we don't always follow it. Culturally, the reason we allow the internet to maintain such a presence in our lives is because we just haven't grown out of it on a cultural level. It is still in vogue.

    I can't explain this more aptly than in reference to a child who has become hopelessly addicted to video games—this was, at one point, me. As a 13-year-old, I would probably willingly spend an average of 16+ hours a day staring at a screen (most days, though, my parents limited me to many fewer). I had a social life, and social skills; I had no real problems in life to speak of; video games just offered me something novel and accessible. Eventually, for me, that novelty wore off, and I began to step more often into "reality." Halfway through high school I just stopped caring quite so much about games, and realized that I liked dancing, exercising, and in-person socializing a bit more, among other things. Likewise, though it's taken longer, the novelty of much of the internet has also begun to wear off on me. I like it, but I can also say quite definitively that I would gain very little from a greater online presence, and my life would probably not be that negatively impacted if I spent 1/10th the time online that I currently do. I notice that my activity on Tildes went up a lot during the pandemic, and I'm pretty sure it's going to go way down afterwards. I feel like something of a bellwether every time I see an article from someone who, like me, has realized that the internet should not really be a big part of their life. I feel that the reason we have seen a continual uptake in internet usage over time is because, as a society, we have simply not yet grown tired of its novelty.

    That exhaustion is well on its way. Tech news is increasingly filled with political scandals, depressing psychological studies, and serious concerns over privacy—not the innovation and optimism of 20 years ago. It has become so ubiquitous that everyone and their father are using it (except, I suppose, for @AugustusFerdinand's :P); their grandfather too. And with that level of prevalence it has been invaded by all that which we despised about, for example, cable television; that is, the corporate world and all its associated non-hipness. Where once the web was a passable simulation of the real world, it has now just become a really bad simulation. To be clear, it has more fidelity than ever, but our new anti-blur technology suggests that the image we mistook for Michelangelo was in fact a collection of scribbles from a toddler. This is what happens when you bring people in who aren't cool. It's often thought that the youth are the indicators of the "next big thing," and, as far as the internet is concerned, I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that a rejection of this space that has been utterly filled with people who are decidedly vibe-killers is necessarily off the table at some point down the line. If anything, I feel that the pandemic's exaggeration of technology use has sown the seeds of cultural change. I think it's probably going to get worse before it gets better—that is, life will get more internet-y for many years to come before anything really starts to change—but I find it difficult to believe that anyone who's lived through this experience will not walk away with a couple of doubts about the internet, even if Zoom remains a tempting alternative to office space for a while.

    In the future, even outside a pandemic, it may very well become the cultural norm to spend one's entire day online. My modest prediction: if this becomes truly engrained in our society for a number of decades, there will be an offline counterculture—and it will probably be spearheaded by the younger generations. As I stated earlier in my comment, I'm sure that they will still use the internet, but I would question whether they would identify with it in the way we do now. At present, it's not only socially acceptable but implicitly encouraged to "advertise yourself" on social media, even just to your friends; to always show off a bit; to keep up with everyone and everything online. The important thing to remember is that this is just a normative standard and by no means a necessary part of life. Perhaps 22nd-century teenagers will see the vanity, vapidity, and virulence of their forebears in the online sphere and elect to live their lives differently, simply because their parents' weird obsession with the internet is "totally not poggers," or whatever they say in 100 years. I know that this is a weird thought for many of us, but while modesty is a virtue the world over, some places actually take it more seriously than others, and the United States (for example) is probably a little closer to the "not so seriously" end of the spectrum. I think that in the West, and especially in the US, we are often under the impression that our way of life is the way of life. This is a dangerous trap to fall into because it severely limits one's ability to conceive of alternatives to the status quo in the face of crisis. But I can absolutely see future generations looking back at the way we use the internet and laughing at our childlike self-absorption, single-mindedness, disconnection from "reality," willful sedentariness, and complete inability to anticipate anything other than that which is immediately before us. In the same way that we often laugh at mid-century science fiction novels for getting things so wrong, we will only realize with hindsight that the path we've charted out ahead of us is probably nothing like the one we'll end up on.

    "But surely there's something different this time! The internet is like nothing else before!" Perhaps that's the case, but if I were a betting man, I wouldn't count on it. I'm not really sure why this thread prompted me to publish a barely edited 3700-word essay; something deep inside me wished to exclaim with as little comprehensibility as possible, "The internet is not the unstoppable, eternal force we think it is!" I think we often undervalue the real world and vastly overestimate how much we actually care about graduating to a level beyond it for the sake of either hyper-intellectualism, convenience, or clout. Such a thing is possible, I am sure—many of the futures depicted in Black Mirror are within the realm of plausibility—it's just that I am unconvinced that it will necessarily be the case. The internet will from now on always be important; it will never be everything.

    13 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      I've long believed that the biggest problem is that people don't understand what the internet is from a simple conceptual point of view. People tend to think of it as some kind of simulacra; like...

      I've long believed that the biggest problem is that people don't understand what the internet is from a simple conceptual point of view. People tend to think of it as some kind of simulacra; like things on the internet are somehow less real than 'the real world'. If you understand that, you realize the root of all the stupid and evil things you find on the internet.

      Nobody cares that most websites are spying on you because it's not real. Nobody cares about the pages of legal terms they're agreeing to because it's not real. People treat people like trash on the internet because they're not real. They put their private information online because online isn't real. And as a society, we don't stop corporations from taking advantage of people because they're "technology companies" and they are working with theoretical concepts, certainly nothing that has to do with real life.

      And the thing that pisses me off so much about it is how glaringly obvious it is that it's literally destroying our society. We get these giant 'social' media companies publishing hate speech, and we allow it because we have this strange conception going around that there's some kind of ancient legal doctrine separating a "platform" and a "publisher". There is no such thing; it's a very new concept, and it's allowing giant media companies to publish and distribute hate speech to audiences who would have otherwise never been exposed to it.

      And so now here we stand, utterly divided with groups of people who can't even agree what reality is anymore. The internet has become a new tower of Babbel; we now speak words that have such different meanings that we no longer understand each other. And so we no longer use our tools of communication to bring people together and come to a consensus; we use them to prove to our friends how right we are and how wrong everyone else is. And it's all because we can't realize that the actions we make online are real and have lasting repercussions.

      13 votes
  2. [5]
    There was a recent discussion titled Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access?. The discussion was interesting, and it made many of us wonder, who are the people who...

    There was a recent discussion titled Is it ethical for services to exclude those without internet access?. The discussion was interesting, and it made many of us wonder, who are the people who don't use the internet? This piece delves into that question for people in the United States.

    The answer is basically the elderly and those with less education. 25% of people over 65 and 14% of adults without a high school education.

    12 votes
    1. [4]
      Link Parent
      I think the question they ask to determine internet usage is flawed as it doesn't differentiate why it's used. Some, obviously anecdotal, examples: My father - He is, as expected, elderly and so...

      I think the question they ask to determine internet usage is flawed as it doesn't differentiate why it's used.

      Some, obviously anecdotal, examples:

      My father - He is, as expected, elderly and so falls into the largest group of non-users, but is also in the other demographic groups with high internet usage. He technically uses the internet, per the question, occasionally, but only does so at the library as he has no internet access at home and has a "dumb phone." He uses it to pay bills, as he doesn't trust autopay, perform actions the phone banking system won't let him do, and a couple of various items that he can't do on the phone or in person easily. He therefore uses the internet at a maximum of once a month and since COVID hit I usually do these tasks for him by logging into his email myself. Does he meet the definition of "occasionally?" Maybe. Does he "use the internet?" No/only because he has to.

      A friend - She is in all of the high internet use categories listed in the research. She is on the internet for her job 5 days a week. She has a dumb flip phone, no internet access, no television, no personal email address, if I send her a text message she'll call me back to discuss it. She is more than an "occasional" internet user because of her job, yet she most certainly does not "use the internet."

      I can go on...

      8 votes
      1. [3]
        Link Parent
        It seems like she must have a strong reason to not use the internet. I would think you'd have to work pretty hard to maintain such an internet-free lifestyle.

        She has a dumb flip phone, no internet access, no television, no personal email address

        It seems like she must have a strong reason to not use the internet. I would think you'd have to work pretty hard to maintain such an internet-free lifestyle.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          Link Parent
          Not really. Pretty much everything about the internet is optional. You don't need social media, news can be had via print media or satellite/terrestrial radio if interested, everything you need is...

          Not really. Pretty much everything about the internet is optional. You don't need social media, news can be had via print media or satellite/terrestrial radio if interested, everything you need is obtainable by walking into a store, on and on.

          She goes to work, goes home, takes care of her dogs, enjoys nature, quilts, crochets, reads a book a week, works at hardware stores seasonally just to get a discount on the improvements she makes to her townhouse, volunteers at an animal rescue, takes three weeks off every fall to help bring in the harvest at a farming co-op. None of those things would be improved by using the internet, she's not missing out on anything, and I honestly can't say that there's any way the internet would improve her life. It's incredibly easy to not do something.

          12 votes
          1. mrbig
            Link Parent
            Sounds like internet usage could be actually detrimental to her well-being...

            Sounds like internet usage could be actually detrimental to her well-being...

            5 votes
  3. [2]
    I'm not a statistician and I know Pew has a reputation for rigor. But I still have to wonder two things: Is a sample size of 1,502 really sufficient to draw conclusions about 250M adults? How does...


    The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 25-Feb. 8, 2021, among a national sample of 1,502 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (300 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 1,202 were interviewed on a cellphone, including 845 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers under the direction of Abt Associates. A combination of landline and cellphone random-digit-dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Dynata according to Abt Associates specifications. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish.

    I'm not a statistician and I know Pew has a reputation for rigor. But I still have to wonder two things:

    • Is a sample size of 1,502 really sufficient to draw conclusions about 250M adults?
    • How does conducting surveys by random phone dial bias the results? Anecdotally, I and others I know won't even answer the phone if we receive calls from unknown numbers. I could have been selected and unwittingly denied the call, thus skewing the results toward those more likely to answer cold calls (a demographic I assume, but have no data to support, overlaps somewhat with those less likely to use the internet).
    8 votes
    1. SunSpotter
      Link Parent
      This is an interesting question. Keep in mind it's not just people willing to accept cold calls though, it's people willing to accept cold calls and actually complete the survey. For the purposes...

      a demographic I assume, but have no data to support

      This is an interesting question. Keep in mind it's not just people willing to accept cold calls though, it's people willing to accept cold calls and actually complete the survey. For the purposes of laying out my case here, I'll say that the people most likely to answer and complete the survey are most likely to be both more trusting and patient. As an example, an elderly person might be more likely to be both trusting and patient. By comparison, someone who takes a lot of calls from potential clients (lawyer, real estate agent etc) would be more trusting of phone calls but not likely to be as patient if they perceive such a survey to interfere with their business. With that said, I'm not so certain we are dealing with a specific demographic in the traditional sense.

      Without specific data on who is most likely to pick up these calls, it becomes a hypothetical based upon the original criteria. Is a person with greater than average trust and patience in a general sense, more or less likely to use the internet? A study also from Pew indicates that people who are white, married, rural, higher income, middle aged or elderly are more likely to be trusting. That's not to say we can conclude only wealthy, older white couples living in the sticks are likely to respond, merely that belonging to one of those groups would make you more likely to respond. Patience was harder to quantify, but the idea of patience in an economic sense does seem to come up, and the consensus seems to be that there's a correlation between higher income and patience, which agrees with the results obtained from demographics who are more trusting.

      This actually paints an interesting picture for the study, because it means that groups of differing internet usage, as according to the data provided by the study itself, are more likely to respond. For instance, families whom are older, or live in rural areas are determined by the study to be less likely to use the internet, and this idea is already commonly held by the general populace to be true. But with wealthier families, the opposite is true, and it is a phenomenon corroborated by other studies. As to whether or not single vs married individuals are more or less likely to use the internet with all other factors accounted for, it's hard to say, and made more difficult by the fact that the study in question didn't actually survey that. If I had to guess though, I would say that married individuals are more likely to use the internet because of their children pushing them to adapt, and because having a partner introduces more spontaneity, which could lead to the development of broader skills and interests. Moreover, couples are more likely to be wealthier due to their combined income. In regards to the affect of having a partner on broadening interests and skills, it comes purely anecdotally from my own observations about my parents, and from working estate sales and noticing the difference between people who lived very insular lives vs those who were married most of their lives. However, I'm not sure how to find reliable data to prove the correlation.

      Overall, it's still hard to comment on the efficacy of the study without digging into the raw data and trying to look for bias in the demographics that responded, but I think that from the above points I've laid out, that we can at least conclude that the data is representative of the truth. Which is to say, even if it's not perfect, it provides a close approximate of the number of people who don't use the internet, and gives good insight into which demographics are less likely to use the internet. If anything, it's possible that the study may be biased in favor of those who use the internet.

      6 votes