Half of American Adults have "Distant or Non-Existent Relationship to IT," Says Report
May 7, 2007 News Report
Ten separate groups emerge in the typology.
- Omnivores (8 percent): They have the most information gadgets and services, which they use voraciously to participate in cyberspace, express themselves online, and do a range of Web 2.0 activities. Most in this group are men in their mid- to late twenties.
- Connectors (7 percent): Between featured-packed cell phones and frequent online use, they connect to people and manage digital content using ICTs -- with high levels of satisfaction about how ICTs let them work with community groups and pursue hobbies.
- Lackluster Veterans (8 percent): They are frequent users of the Internet and less avid about cell phones. They are not thrilled with ICT-enabled connectivity and don't see them as tools for additional productivity. They were among the Internet's early adopters.
- Productivity Enhancers (8 percent): They have strongly positive views about how technology lets them keep up with others, do their jobs, and learn new things. They are frequent and happy ICT users whose main focus is personal and professional communication.
- Mobile Centrics (10 percent): They fully embrace the functionality of their cell phones. They use the Internet, but not often, and like how ICTs connect them to others. 37 percent have high-speed Internet connections at home. The group contains a large share of African Americans.
- Connected But Hassled (10 percent): They have invested in a lot of technology (80 percent have broadband at home), but they find the connectivity intrusive and information something of a burden.
- Inexperienced Experimenters (8 percent): They occasionally take advantage of interactivity, but if they had more experience and connectivity, they might do more with ICTs. They are late adopters of the Internet. Few have high-speed connections at home.
- Light But Satisfied (15 percent): They have some technology, but it does not play a central role in their daily lives. They are satisfied with what ICTs do for them. They like how information technology makes them more available to others and helps them learn new things.
- Indifferents (11 percent): Despite having either cell phones or online access, these users use ICTs only intermittently and find connectivity annoying. Few would miss a beat if they had to give these things up.
- Off the Network (15 percent): Those with neither cell phones nor Internet connectivity tend to be older adults. A few of them have computers or digital cameras, but they are content with old media.
Connectors make up 7% of the American public.
The Connectors’ collection of information technology is used for a mix of one-to-one and one-to-many communication. They very much like how ICTs keep them in touch with family and friends and they like how ICTs let them work in community groups to which they belong. They are participants in cyberspace – many blog or have their own web pages – but not at the rate of Omnivores. They are not as sure-footed in their dealings with ICTs as Omnivores. Connectors suspect their gadgets could do more for them, and some need help in getting new technology to function properly.
Connectors combine a sense that information technology is good for social purposes with a clear recognition that online resources are a great way to learn new things. Their cell phones have a lot of features, and they also try new things with technology; more than half have watched TV programming on a device like a laptop computer or cell phone.
Who They Are
Connectors, which make up 7% of the population, have a median age of 38, with a majority (54%) in the 30-49 age range. Ethnically, it is mostly white (72%); 16% are Black and 12% are English-speaking Hispanics. The typical Connector has been online for 9 years, which suggests they were a second-wave of late 1990s adopters. Most are women (55%) and they rate above average in educational attainment and income.
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