Wow, 20% Of Americans Don't Use The Internet

Wow, 20% Of Americans Don't Use The Internet

Some 60 million American adults don't use the internet on their computers or phones, says a New York Times report today. That's 20 per cent of the United States. Insane!

The Times cites economic difficulties, lack of interest, and lack of computer skills as reasons for this statistic. Some can't afford to get plugged in, and others just don't care to.

This stat is of course very relevant to one of the year's biggest gaming discussions: the Xbox One's DRM problems. Back in May, Microsoft said you'd need an Internet connection to use their next-gen console, and although the company has reversed course since then, it's becoming clear that the big players in gaming want things to go digital.

But just how much of the population is even equipped for that sort of revolution? Any of these 60 million people can buy an Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii U and do just fine without an Internet connection -- and in many cases, games are crucial forms of entertainment for lower-income families -- but in 10 years, will that still be possible? Should it still be possible? Or should game consoles be just as internet-dependent as smartphones and tablets?

It's certainly a conversation we'll be having for a long time to come.


Comments

    A lot of that number would be the very old and very young though, right?

      Or the very stupid....but then again the number would probably be higher if that were the case

    For a good deal of people "the internet" is what you connect to when you double click the blue e on the desktop.

    Emails aren't the internet. Netflix isn't the internet. Any number of internet based applications aren't the internet. Just that blue e.

      yeah. My Dad uses the internet a lot, he's still not completely around the whole browser/email client concept though.

    I would have thought that number would actually be higher. The very old, the very young, the very poor, and the very disinterested must account for more than 20% of the population.

      Also take into account the very low economic areas which are extremely common over there.

        Yep, I mentioned the very poor.

          Not only the poor, but also how a lot of neighbourhoods over there are set up believe it or not. A lot of phonelines are incompatible, a lot of companies won't put in the right kind of architecture due to fear of it being damaged, cost vs income etc.

        Yeah I would think the prevalence of trailer parks and homelessness would be a big hurdle for Internet access. America is a land of extremes or largess and poverty.

    OHMIGOD! A certain percentage of people don't live like us. STOP THE PRESSES!

    The people who aren't using the net are the ones who cant get access, its wrong to assume all of america has internet access, lots of areas dont have any internet, some only have dial up. So thats where the majority of the 20% comes from

      those who rely on a public connection and those who could not afford private access are probably two large groups.

    those who can't afford the internet are unlikely to be the ones rushing out to buy a new console on launch day and neither are the older generations. It would be more useful to know how many people don't have access to broadband speeds, or maybe even dial up, then you can make a better guess based on the demographics of those areas as to how it would affect an 'always on' console

    Never underestimate the power of the elderly and the crazies who think that the internet is basically devil worship. Then there's the people who are baffled by anything that doesn't run on combustion (not baffled as to how it works, but why you would want to interact with anything that didn't go vroom or boom). The people in the middle of nowhere, whose primary exposure to 'the internet' is that one working machine out of the two computers sharing a 56k modem, stored in the public library/tourism centre/shack that the tourists use for webmail - the ones who don't quite see the point because they've never experienced internet cats. There are places like that here in Australia, even.

      *first few notes of dueling banjos starts playing*

    I think the Internet should be a public utility like electricity and a phone (even if just a land line) especially going into the future.

    As far as current consoles go, I think the option to be purely digital or not should be available. Want to have the machine online and not buy physical media (for cheaper) then go ahead! Don't like the idea or not practical for you then don't. Hurray for choice!

    Though I think it is more important to get the internet as utility that all can get like electricity and water is a must for society going forward.

    I'm going to go ahead & assume that 20% of America = the elderly + those in prison.

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