Statistics: Who are these Internots?

 

There's a startling new figure from the Office for National Statistics: 7.63 million adults in the UK have never used the internet. That's 15 per cent. So who the devil are these technophobic weirdos who have never gone online? Roughly half, it seems, are over-75s and/or defined as disabled, and not in a position to use a computer. But the others? We're so accustomed to emailing, Googling, wikipeeking, app-wrangling, tweeting and Facebooking, we find it hard to imagine going without. It's not a matter of cost, either. What remain of the nation's libraries are filled all day with citizens using the borough's computers, gratis.

And age doesn't stop people entering cyberspace: a whole new demographic of 80-somethings have embraced the iPad as the perfect armchair companion. But consider the non-Internet-ers; the off-liners; the Internots. What are their days like? They won't spend hours yearning to make smart remarks on Twitter, won't waste whole mornings playing Angry Birds: Star Wars and surfing newspaper websites until they find an article they can write nasty things about, won't drift (by, you know, accident) into porn sites that hold them captive until 3am, won't send 20,000 flirtatious emails to attractive Army colleagues until they lose their jobs and won't writhe with frustration because the Valentine's Day gift they bought online has failed to arrive in the post.

I picture them – this dwindling band – reading actual books by log fires, going for hearty walks to post handwritten letters, enjoying conversations at dinner rather than prodding screens and watching films in cinemas rather than streaming them onto a laptop. I picture them having a non-digital life. Not a long life – their percentage of the population is shrinking fast – but a rich one.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Application Developer / Software Developer

    £21000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software development compa...

    Guru Careers: Talent Manager

    £30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

    Jemma Gent: International Management Accountant

    £150 - £200 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you as an experienced accountant with ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower