Adults Scared of Digital World

A large minority of Aussie adults are not going online because they lack the motivation, money or skills to do so

A report supplied by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that quite a few Aussies are are missing out on the internet, because of lack of skills, motivation or economic circumstances according to an report, released today.

‘This is a challenge because without the necessary skills and motivation, this group of adult Australians will be left behind as digital media becomes increasingly integrated into everyday social, cultural and economic life,’ said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA.
The report titled Adult Digital Media Literacy Needs, was commissioned to assist the ACMA to understand the attitudes that lie behind the non-use or limited use of digital media specifically the internet and the mobile phone.

According to a consumer survey conducted by the ACMA in April 2009, 17 per cent of Australians aged 18+ have never used the internet. However, the proportion not having used the internet is higher among older Australians, regional Australians and lower income households.

‘A common characteristic of non-users of digital media and communications is that they have never been required to use technology on a day-to-day basis,’ Mr Chapman said. ‘For example, they might be working outdoors, on the go, in a job that does not involve use of a computer, a stay-at-home parent or a retiree. Not having had the chance to be exposed and experiment online, these people lack an understanding of how the internet works, the commonplace language and terminology, and the ability to transfer skills across applications.’

One of the keys to motivating people to increase their digital media literacy is communicating the possible benefits of using digital media to those who do not currently appreciate how the internet might enhance their lives.