15 per cent in US shun Internet; most intend to stay offline

15 per cent in US shun Internet; most intend to stay offline

WASHINGTON - Despite a seemingly unstoppable move to digital lifestyles, some 15 per cent of Americans don't use the Internet, and most are quite content to remain offline, a survey shows.

The survey released Wednesday found that in addition to the 15 per cent of adults who don't use the Internet on any device, another nine per cent say they only go online at their workplace.

The report by the Pew Research Center found a whopping 92 per cent of these "offline adults" with no interest in using the Internet or email in the near future.

"A lot of people are surprised to discover that not everyone is online," said Kathryn Zickuhr, a Pew researcher and author of the report.

"Most offline adults either don't see the Internet as relevant to them, or feel that it would not be worth the effort. And though many have had some experiences with the Internet in the past, most non-Internet users say they are not interested in going online in the future."

The survey found 34 per cent of the offline Americans said the Internet is not relevant to them, that they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.

Another 32 per cent in this group said they believe using the Internet is difficult or frustrating to use, or cite issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers.

Pew found 19 per cent of non-Internet users cited the expense of owning a computer or online connections, and just seven per cent said the Internet was not available to them.

The report said the percentage of Americans using the Internet grew sharply from 1995, when just 14 per cent were online, but has held in a range of around 75 to 85 per cent in the past few years.

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