The conscientious objectors

When we think of people’s media literacy and use of the internet , we think of those who are digitally included and excluded.  However, it appears the latter group can be divided into those who are willing but face barriers to digital inclusion such as cost, training etc and those who have no interest at all in the digital revolution.

The BBC News Magazine has an interesting article discussing this issue titled The internet’s conscientious objectors.

It’s estimated that as many as 17 million people in Britain aged over 15 are not using the internet.

Ellen Helsper, researcher from the Oxford Internet Institute, believes there is a rise in the number of people saying they are just not interested in being online; reasons include:

  • the impersonal nature of communication
  • the many privacy concerns
  • the desire to keep life simple

The article points out that if this situation persists it will create challenges for the government as it continues to drive services online.  This will be something the government’s new digital inclusion champion, Martha Lane Fox, will have to consider for the future.  She is quoted as saying:

I don’t think you can be a proper citizen of our society in the future if you are not engaged online


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