What does it mean when half of adult Americans have relatively distant relationships to modern information technology such as the Internet and feature-rich cell phones? What are the implications of another 18% of adults having a good deal of information and communication technology at hand, yet expressing varying degrees of dissatisfaction about it? We have encountered these questions, in various forms, since the Pew Internet and American Life Project released its typology of users of information and communication technology (ICT).
Pew Internet has analyzed the reactions to its typology report, noting that some press coverage characterized Americans as "uninterested" in ICTs or collectively hostile to cyberspace. The term "Luddites" has appeared in some accounts of our report. The chatter carries the implication: Some people just haven't gotten the memo about the information age; if they'd only grab a mouse and get in the game, things would fall into place. But users' attitudes are symptomatic of something other than disinterest in ICTs. They tell us a lot about how far along we are -- or aren't -- in the "information society." Two themes emerge from the typology that explains why many Americans are not tuned into the information age.
Read the full article "Analysis of Technology Typology, or Don't Blame Me: It's the Phone's Fault!" at the Pew Research Center Web site.