back to article So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

According to the most recent survey of online usage by Americans, 15 per cent of adults are still not online. What is just as interesting is the fact that this 15 per cent appear to be stubbornly refusing to get online despite numerous efforts by the US government and others to get broadband to both rural and low-income areas …

  1. adnim Silver badge


    smart ones

    1. Turtle

      @adnim Re: The...

      I see you've already gotten a downvote. Not surprising. There are some stupid people who will brook no comments, humorous or not, even hinting that the internet might not be the single best invention ever devised by humanity, or that some of its effects might be less than wonderful in any respect.

      1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

        Re: the single best invention ever devised by humanity

        That would be bacon.

  2. Zola

    15% of Americans not online?

    Who'd have guessed BT would have cornered 15% of the US ISP market.

  3. Charles Manning

    Let them be

    Why does Obama have a mission to get these people online?

    If they don't see any value in it, then why push them?

    We don't have TV in the house and I know exactly which two words I'd say to any .gov person telling me I must get TV.

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Let them be

      Why does Obama have a mission to get these people online?

      Anti-government militias and similar groups thrive in the very demographics and geographical areas where the unconnected live. How is the government going to keep tabs on their email and social-networking activities if they don't have any?

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Let them be

      I suspect several reasons...

      Some of the ones that don't have it, other than cost, don't trust it. I can't blame them there. Scams, malware, spying. Enough to scare the hell out of anyone who's rational.

      Some of the ones that don't have it, don't understand it. Schooling, maybe environment such as out in the sticks and thus never exposed to it.

      It's kind of like some of us who have and use the Internet, but not Facebook. We have our reasons and sometimes, we just can't quantify them to someone else.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Let them be

        Those is rural parts of the USA are probably used to dealing with Scam Artists by giving them a dose of buckshot(or worse). They can't do this to an Nigerian 419'er now can they.

    3. John Gamble

      Re: Let them be

      "If they don't see any value in it, then why push them?"

      Except, of course, that's not what the article said. The aim is to help those who want to be on line.

      1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Let them be

        The age and education gaps do not surprise me. The Internet has been around for about 20 years. If you are older you can remember doing everything without the it. Many of these people are basically not interested in newer technology that does not appear to be useful to them.

  4. spot


    That's a snapshot figure of those in US jails within the Homeland. No Internet in jail. It might even be enough to skew the racial difference so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2,217,000

      Interesting. I wonder what proportion of the US population are considered "rural" and what proportion of US prisons are located in bumfuck* nowhere?

      *somewhat self-fulfillingly

    2. Turtle

      @Spot Re: 2,217,000

      "That's a snapshot figure of those in US jails within the Homeland. No Internet in jail."

      Very perspicacious. But not, however, correct. So maybe not so very perspicacious. :

      Much like the use of telephones in prisons, the use of the internet under supervision, for various purposes, is approved in 49 U.S. correctional systems and five Canadian provinces. Each of the reporting U.S. systems, except Hawaii, Iowa, Nebraska and Nevada, use computers to employ inmate educational programs, as do all five reporting provinces in Canada. There are 36 reporting U.S. systems to handle inmate health issues via telemedicine.[1] However much like the use of mobile phones in prison, internet access without supervision, via a smartphone, is banned for all inmates.

  5. Zash the Bench Geek

    Small Town Minnesota

    A good number of the people in my area [not on the internet] have no desire to be there. Many say they have no use for it despite my pointing out the benefits. They have computers, routers, smartphones, wireless printers and tablets. The smartphone gets used to make and receive phone calls. If software needs to be activated or updated, they come in to this small town computer shop and have us do it for them. These are not unintelligent or unemployed people, they are more along the lines of hard working farming families that consider the internet as a distraction.

    1. Ole Juul Silver badge

      Re: Small Town Minnesota

      I'm now living in ranch/mining/logging land in Canada and I can corroborate what you say. In many cases it's neither lack of intelligence nor money. Some people here really like their life the way it is.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

    I am, and I also refuse to comment on websites.

  7. Mike Shepherd

    Who has the problem?

    I know many who are not "online". They are the most delightful people. They live fulfilled lives. They don't pin me to the wall at parties to tell me how this or that IT company is a great evil. They don't show me their latest electronic toy, expecting my fascination. They don't ask each other "Do you remember when we had real lives?"

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forgot the paranoid

    no guv'mint aspyin on ma fam'ly y'all

    con'spiricy and sorcery is that intnet

    have me trusty shotgun gran'paw given me and a'm a sttin on me rok'in chair...

    maw - wherz me beer ?

    1. sandman

      Re: forgot the paranoid

      Given what we know about data collection by our esteemed security organisations, that seems more like common sense than paranoia. The porch, rocking chair and beer sounds pretty sensible too. (if you were really paranoid you'd want to add motion detectors to stop the men in black sneaking up on you. Oh, possibly some really good radar, those black helicopters are a bugger to detect).

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: forgot the paranoid

      Because, after all, common sense and reasoned discourse thrives online.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Under Lifeline, low-income households will be able to apply for a discount on their broadband."

    'This discount was proudly sponsored by the NSA and other great three letter agencies - call / text / email / talk loudly for more details!'

  10. Big_Boomer


    For the men, show them FaceBook and car/tractor/gun porn sites. For the women, show them FaceBook and clothes/shoes/handbag porn sites. Then watch their businesses and lives crumble.Better off to leave people who don't want it alone. I can see the attraction of being disconnected and I normally try to have at least 1 week of not being connected per year. It's not easy though. Just 20 years ago a 2 week holiday meant 2 weeks not connected. Now yer lucky if ya manage 2 hours. No wonder we are all stressed out and wired!!!

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: PornBook

      They don't need Facebook to keep in touch with family in rural USA. Your wife, sister, cousin and aunt is more than likely the same person.

  11. Lars Silver badge

    My dear aunt

    She's 92 and she refuses to go online and she tells me she doesn't need no fucking computer either, what should I do.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: My dear aunt


  12. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    In the UK

    My subjective impression of my country, the UK, is that about half the population just does not do reading and writing except under severe provocation, e.g. to claim governemnt benefits. Even then, they usually expect somebody to help them.

    But they all have TVs and mobile phones, so who needs that stupid internet thingy, even though it has been dumbed down in an effort to get more paying customers.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: In the UK

      Then your impression is wrong, my friends is a teacher, studied marine archeology has a most walls covered by bookshelves, mostly sails and plays rugby. He has and never has had any interest in the internet, but you would be hard pressed to call him illiterate.

      Also half the country? I think you may not have much interest in doing maths or statistics. Subjectively speaking of course.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: In the UK

        No, you are the one citing individual cases rather than populations. You are the one with no clue about statistics.

        "my friends is" - I hope that is a typo rather than a measure of your English. I can forgive typos; as my fingers get older the keyboard dances around under them.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: In the UK

          I'm sorry I thought you were implying most people didn't use the internet because they were all illiterate benefit scroungers. Your daily mail type non sequitur confused me, I thought it was you trying to make a relevant comment.

          Yes it was a typo.

  13. Identity

    RE: Follow-up: are you able to avoid Kim Kardashian if you stay offline?

    Barely, if you avert your eyes from the tabloids at the check-out counter.

    1. s5PGmU

      Re: RE: Follow-up: are you able to avoid Kim Kardashian if you stay offline?

      If the Kardashians have joined forces with the NSA, then they'll follow you everywhere.

  14. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Rich Young People

    includes some who _claim_ not to have access when asked by a pollster, and take care to leave as few footprints as possible in their alternate identities that do go online.

  15. Jonathan Richards 1

    Avoiding Kardashians

    I've used the Internet for a long time, and I haven't had any problems with Kardashians. Shit, I don't even really know where Kardash is.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019