Thursday, September 09, 2021

How Many Americans Are "Low Tech"?

How many Americans just aren't tech savvy? In a major new survey of Americans and technology, Pew Research Center has come up with an estimate: 30 percent.

To measure the size of the "low-tech" public, Pew asked two separate questions: 

Question 1. "Overall, how confident, if at all, do you feel using computers, smartphones, or other electronic devices to do the things you need to do online?" and

Question 2. "Which of the following best describes you, even if neither is exactly right? When I get a new computer, smartphone, or other electronic device, I usually...  
—Need someone else to set it up or show me how to use it, or
—Am able to set it up and learn how to use it on my own"

Pew classified those who responded "only a little/not at all" to Question 1 AND those who responded that they usually need help to set up a new electronic device to Question 2 as having "lower tech readiness." Those who said they were somewhat/very confident in using digital devices AND they usually are able to set up and learn how to use a new device on their own as having "higher tech readiness." 

So who are the "lower tech" Americans? Older adults, of course...

Percent of adults who are "lower tech"
Total 18-plus: 30%
Aged 18 to 29: 16%
Aged 30 to 49: 17%
Aged 50 to 64: 34%
Aged 65 to 74: 54%
Aged 75-plus: 68%

Source: Pew Research Center, The Internet and the Pandemic

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