Certain hindrances make people decide not to use the Internet. Some people would still choose not to access the Internet even if they have heard wonderful encouraging words from other Internet users. All these benefits we Internet-dependent people are enjoying or may have been taking for granted can be over some people’s natural grasp and appreciation.
I have a friend who looks down with disdain on me whenever I point out to him proudly that I use the Internet in most aspects of my daily social life. I had seen him cringe even at finding my profiles online. Once, he was looking for me when he lost his cell phone. Citing security reasons (he is a retired military person), he thinks I may have been exposing myself inadvertently to people unknown to me, which may be bad for me in the long run. Even if he knows how to use the Internet (he uses it in his business), he is adamant against using it whenever he communicates with me (preferring to use the phone). I have met since then others like him, with varying scornful attitudes towards using the Internet.
I have since been figuring out why some people are so-called “allergic” to Internet access, even during this period. My thoughts on such reasons include:
1) “Difficulty in accessing, or having an unstable or slow connection to the Internet.” Also, if they get connected, they must consider paying an additional fee.
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2) The level of learning required to access and use the Internet is beyond them. It takes too long for them to unlearn many things and adjust to the wonders of using the Internet. They are satisfied with whatever technology they are using now, which does not need access to the Internet.
3) The Internet reminds some people of the “newness” factor. This means a change, which can be scary to some of us. Also, in other countries, you will observe more advanced Internet access features, as provided in cell phones or some household appliances or vehicles, which can be overwhelming to some people.
4) The spam messages they receive from their emails can be crushing, literally and figuratively. Some users take it personally whenever they receive such emails. Rather than thrashing them away or just ignoring them, they would go to a great extent to make big issues out of receiving such emails, not knowing that such messages are part and parcel of living in the Internet age.
5) “Something about creepy ideas on meeting people online.” Let us admit it: some people have been misusing the Internet to destroy those online, one way or another. They take advantage of the trust of some people who use the Internet. Thus, some users may have heard many bad stories about people who have met people online, which may have made them shy away from using the Internet.
6) “No one around to coach them and answer their questions when they are accessing the Internet.” Some people need to have people they trust who would not condescendingly look down on them when given their ostensibly unfussy questions about Internet use. Some would not endure the ridicule (or, worse, people having fun at their expense) because they have questions about accessing the Internet.
7) The “strange” language is used when you have to explain yourself when accessing the Internet. This makes some users feel overwhelmed or, even worse, out of place when in front of the computer, trying to understand what is happening. The jargon really can be very mind-boggling to some people. Worst, some of those technology-adept people have been observed to make fun of without realizing they are behaving this way to people just trying to learn how to access the Internet.
8) other people can do Internet work for those who refuse to access the Internet. As such, they would not have any motivation to do it themselves. Why even bother if someone is willing to do the work for you, or better yet, if you can pay someone to access the Internet and do the related jobs for you?
9) “Reading disabilities.” One has to know to read, at least the rudiments of it so that one can access the Internet. If your reading abilities are at fault, you will have difficulties accessing the Internet, no matter how good instructions you can get from people around you.
10) Should I include the age factor? Yes, I will add this, which has been influenced by my experience with my late Father and my retired Mom, who used to work as a nurse (where she had many opportunities to use the computer before retirement). I have taken time to teach them and have even encouraged them to play games for starters to feel comfortable using the PC but to no avail. Even my siblings have been training our Mom, but we still have not gotten consistent results. It must be the age (with due respect to her).
11) Some have been used to being assisted by others for such kind of work (or similar type of work). You observe this most particularly from people who used to do work with lots of support from administrative or secretarial staff. Remember, typing, a skill needed to access the Internet through the keyboard, used to be done exclusively by secretarial staff in the corporate world. As such, those still caught up in those olden periods have trouble accessing the Internet in today’s world.
12) Some are just being selective in accessing the Internet. They choose whatever applies to meet their personal needs. For example, some would not do online social networking. They think doing so eats up so much of whatever is left of their precious time outside of regular work. I have friends who just established Facebook accounts to read about updates on me but would not update their profiles. I have told them that that if they would like to know updates about me, they better visit their accounts (as I think this would make them use the Internet to network with others).
In closing, I have also met some people who would bridge anything to access the Internet. One of them is an elderly fellow in his 80s who has been showing me how he has been using the Internet to spice up his life. He has no PC and would not even care to learn to use the PC. All he has got is access to the Internet through his television set. The minute he comes home, he checks on his emails. Now, he displays something that is certainly very admirable for me.