Uncovered: Internet Innocents
Don’t take it for granted that everyone’s online
Isn’t everyone online these days?! Your grandma may have joined Facebook, but there are plenty more who haven’t, reminds a new Pew poll: Though 88 percent of Americans own a cell phone, one in five adults still does not use the Internet. Nicknamed “Internet innocents,” the people least likely to have Internet access include the elderly, Spanish speakers, those living with disability, those with less than a high school education, and those who earn less than $30,000 per year. These “innocents” say they find the Internet irrelevant to them or that they feel ill-equipped to learn the technology. Still, one in 10 admits interest in learning to use email or Internet. And when a group of elderly nursing home residents were taught to go online, they enjoyed increased well-being and a new way to connect with their families.
But as most of us grow ever more Internet dependent—with “wearable computers” slated to be the next big thing and the ’Net overtaking television as the most used media in Russia—there has been a move toward simpler, more elegant websites. That’s why a throwback social network called Super Dimensional Fortress, or SDF, is picking up speed, with 30,000 members, in spite of the fact that (or, rather, because ) it shuns pictures, videos, and ads. Everything old is new again, it seems—even the Internet.
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