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Conceptualizing the (non) users of the internet

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 16:59 by Park Sora, Catherine A. Middleton, Matthew Allen
Most studies about internet use examine how usage differs among users and why. Less attention has been paid to the varied degrees of non-use or low levels of use. Non-adopters of digital media are usually understood as not having access to digital media. However, there is a considerable variation among them with regards to how and why they lack the connectivity. Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge those who do have access but use the internet only in a limited capacity. Digital exclusion does not only occur among those who do not have access but expands to those who cannot use the internet effectively. A new type of digital exclusion is emerging due to this variation of usage and appropriation. We propose a nuanced approach in defining the various levels of internet non- and low use. Rather than highlighting how social exclusion, therefore the lack of connectivity, leads to digital exclusion, this paper looks at the various contexts in which people might be digital disengaged and therefore digitally excluded.

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