15 million US adults say the Internet is a waste of time*

15 million US adults say the Internet is a waste of time*

 The Federal Communications commission (the FCC) is preparing to present a new broadband plan to Congress on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

According to a February 23rd announcement, 93 million Americans don’t have broadband in their homes.

The FCC certainly presents this as a major threat to the future of the country, and, well, they are focused on communications, so that’s not too surprising.

They do seem to be approaching this logically.  They’ve identified three barriers to people having broadband.

1. Affordability

That’s the one most people would expect, I think.  People think the installation fee or the monthly fee is too high, or just don’t want to commit.

2. Digital Literacy

Another group is, well, sort of afraid of the internet.  They think they don’t have the skills for it, or they are afraid of porn and pirates (identity thieves, not intellectual property pirates, I mean…I just like alliteration). 

3. *Relevance

Here’s the interesting one…or the uninterested one.  This group says that the internet is a waste of time, or there isn’t anything that would interest them…or, they are happy with dialup.

Dudes!  Nothing interesting on the internet?  Have you seen Bored.com?  Have you watched Maru and the Giant Box?  I mean, it’s a cat…jumping into a box!  Brilliant!  Ooh, and then there’s these shepherds who use border collies to make sheep into art.  Not only that, they outfit the sheep with LED vests, so they can do it at night! 

Only 81 percent of people in the US see that? 😉

So, I fudged the headline…I don’t know how many are people with dialup, which would affect that figure.  On the other hand, some people probably have broadband…and think it’s a waste of time. 😉

Then, they divide people based on attitude, using such terms as “Digitally Uncomfortable”.

This all reminds me of something I read years ago.  Estimates of how quickly people would adopt the internet at all turned out to be overly optimistic.  One of the reasons was that some people tried it…and didn’t like it.  None of those people promoting the internet seemed to have taken that into account.  You try it, you don’t like it, you quit.  Most people thought that once you had been online, you’d be hooked. 

Does this all mean cheaper broadband and more of it?  Could be…now, if they could get us more 3G and wifi, that would be something!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

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