A recent Pew study shows that we are not, in fact, all connected, despite what some trend stories might have you believe. Some people don't use the Internet at all, and they're actually totally fine with that. Pew's research discovered that 15 percent of Americans 18 and older don't use the Internet at all. They don't go online at home, or at their friend's house, or at the library. They do not connect, ever. Considering how much the Internet dominates most our lives; whether at work, or at school, or even at home on the ol' TV, that number might be surprise some people.
So why these people are offline? For one thing, they're predominantly older folks. Our sister site Quartz noticed 44 percent of people who stay off the 'net are over 66 years old. Pew reports those few disconnected Americans said the Internet wasn't relevant to their life, was too difficult to use, or too expensive for them to afford. You can see different the trends presented in the study, like the correlation between education and internet use:
The more education you've obtained, the more likely it is that you're a regular Internet user.
Just as obvious is the financial gap between regular Internet users and the disconnected. Very few people in the highest tax brackets stay offline:
Since you're here now, you probably agree that the Internet is where all of the good stuff happens — news breaks faster, stories are told in interesting new ways, and we talk to our friends. Those who know the fruits of the Internet react with shock when one of our own disconnects. But you'll be shocked to learn the blissfully disconnected are actually quite pleased with their life offline. "Overall, most adults who do not use the internet or email do not express a strong desire to go online in the future: just 8% of offline adults say they would like to start using the internet or email, while 92% say they are not interested," the study says. Ignorance is bliss, online and off.
[Top image via flickr]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.