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Internet Dropouts

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Dropouts, a nearly forgotten category of Internet users, counted between 5% and 21% of actual & former users in Europe, the USA,& Canada at the turn of the century. …

Dropouts, a nearly forgotten category of Internet users, counted between 5% and 21% of actual & former users in Europe, the USA,& Canada at the turn of the century.
A multivariate analysis of dropout reasons in Europe based on survey data from 2000 shows that perceived lack of utility is the major reason of dropout, largely before socio economic reasons.(age, education, rural/urban). Cost & income considerations are non significant for dropout.

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  • 1. Internet Dropouts – an essay in cultural diversity The Good, the Bad and the Irrelevant Helsinki September 3-5, 2003 COST 269 User Aspects of ICTs Dr. Frank Thomas FTR Rosny, France
  • 2. Dropouts- a (nearly) forgotten category of Internet users • The state of the art • The data • The analysis • Conclusions 2
  • 3. The state of the art: How to explain dropout? • Diffusion theory • Communication research • History of technology 3
  • 4. Diffusion theory (Rogers 1995) = « discontinuance of an innovation » – Replacement - Being disenchanted Because • Innovation inappropriate for user • Perceived relative advantage over existing services judged to be inadequate • Bad use • Innovation didn’t become routinised into ongoing practice • Forced discontinuance (through government or industry intervention) • Exists all along the diffusion process, most typical for late adopters 4
  • 5. To be successful an innovation should be • Perceived to be relatively advantageous to existing goods, services • Compatible with existing values, past experience • Simple to understand and to use • Triable, you should have the opportunity to start on a limited basis • Observable, it should be visible to potential users 5
  • 6. Communication research Authors/study name and year of survey: • Katz & Aspden: USA 1995, 1997, 2002 • Lenhart, Pew Internet: USA 2000,2002 • UCLA Internet Report: USA 2000 • A Nation Online: USA 2001 • ARD-ZDF Online & Offline Studies: Germany 2000 - 2002 • Household Internet Use Survey: Canada 2000 • World Internet Project, Japan: 2000 • Wyatt: types of non-use 6
  • 7. Katz & Aspden • 1995: 8% of sample dropped out in the U.S. • 2000: 11% dropouts Main reasons – 36% Lost institutional access – 23% No interest – 18% Use problems (equipment, too difficult) – 7% cost 7
  • 8. Social profile of dropouts Dropouts are For the 20+ • Younger • No effect of gender • Less well educated • No effect of work status • Poorer • Short term users • No differrence in marital • Different learning status environments • Ethnic background Multivariate: • only education 8
  • 9. Lenhart, Pew Internet Project 13% dropouts, USA 2000 Reasons Dropout profil • 21% loss of PC • Younger • 14% changed job • Less educated • 11% cost • Poorer Changes in life -> than users dropout 9
  • 10. UCLA Internet Report 21% dropout rate USA 2001 Reasons • 21% loss of PC • 17% no interest • 10% privacy, security concerns • 5% cost • 4% not useful • 4% takes too much time • 3% change of job 10
  • 11. ARD/ZDF Online & Offline Studies (2000 – 2002) In Germany: • 2000: 6% • 2001: 7% • 2002: 6% 11
  • 12. Canadian Household Internet Use Survey 2000 (Crompton, Ellison, Stevenson 2002) 5% dropouts, Canada 2000 Reasons: • 30% no need • 17% cost • 14% lost access to computer • 4% too difficult • 5% equipment broken 12
  • 13. Japan study within the World Internet Project • Total dropout rate 2000: 6% Profile • 12 – 19 years: 15% • 30+ years : below 5% 13
  • 14. History of technology • Temporary dropout during a successful diffusion • Dropout is different from the retreat of users when a technology ends its life cycle 14
  • 15. Temporary drop-out during a successful diffusion • De-diffusion of rural telephone by U.S. farmers in 1930s in favour of car (Fischer 1987) • Retreat of German telephone diffusion after the world economic crisis of 1929 (Thomas 1995) 15
  • 16. The impact of culture on ICT use Culture is a system of commonly shared symbols, values, beliefs, and their translation into social perceptions, behaviour and artefacts. 16
  • 17. The analysis 17
  • 18. The general model values & attitudes socio-demographic resources Dropout rate experience with ICTs everyday life activities ? Missing: SUPPLY= content & regulation & technology & tarification & … 18
  • 19. Social Networks and ICT The data: the EURESCOM P903 survey P903 STUDY COUNTRIES • Representative data about users and non -users of mobile phone and Internet • focus on PRIVATE use • 9 countries, advanced and starters • more than 9,000 respondents 19
  • 20. Who drops out in Europe? • 5% of population used the Internet but does no longer (end of 2000) • Low: 8% in Norway • High: 31% in Spain source: EURESCOM P903 20
  • 21. Dropout and penetration rates 60 NL DK 50 % Internet penetration N 40 D 30 UK CR 20 I F ES 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 % dropout in % of actual & former user 21 source: EURESCOM P903
  • 22. Dropout rate by socio- demographic categories Female Male . 15 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 . 45 to 54 55 + secondary & less educ. tertiary educ. . -- income - + ++ single & child couple & child couple, no child single, no child 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 22 source: EURESCOM P903
  • 23. Dropout rate & ICT background high efficacy low efficacy . very innovative . not innovative high ICT budget low ICT budget . inactive: student, voc. training, national service environment occupation oriented ICT poor job ICT- inactive: unemployed, retired, ill, housekeeper ICT rich job hot line myself, textbook learning family & peers teacher at work 5+ yrs use duration 3-4 yrs 2 yrs 1 yr below 1 yr 0% 10% 20% 23 30% source: EURESCOM P903
  • 24. The structure of Internet attitudes Factors: utility, knowledge & time is mean to entry usability factor scores alternatives money socialising obstacles hazard not useful to me  unfamiliar  not interested in new technologies  easier ways  uses too much time  easy to get lost  too expensive   contact people with same interests  enables to make new friends  too much effort to subscribe  people in my household dislike  Internet friendships are superficial  fear of credit card fraud  too much pornography, violence  Internet is to gather information easy to use  % variance explained 14.7% 8.7% 7.9% 6.7% 6.5% 6.3% rotated factor matrix 24  factor score > .5  factor score between .25 and .5  factor score < -.25 Data source: EURESCOM P
  • 25. Influences on the dropout-rate variable reference effect B ddl Signif. Exp(B) gender male female 0,17 1 0,22 1,18 socio-demography age 15 to 45 years > 45 years -0,42 1 0,02 0,66 education secondary or less tertiary -0,70 1 0,00 0,50 household income < median > median -0,02 1 0,89 0,98 Single/couple single couple -0,20 1 0,24 0,82 presence of children no children children 0,24 1 0,15 1,28 urban place rural urban -0,49 1 0,00 0,61 residential mobility immobil mobil -0,38 1 0,30 0,69 years of Internet use below 1 year 1 year + -0,18 1 0,31 0,84 ICT environment Learning environment assisted self-taught -0,74 1 0,00 0,48 ICT-oriented occupation ICT poor ICT rich 0,70 1 0,00 0,49 telephone budget < median > median -0,08 1 0,56 0,92 fixed line phone no fixed line fixed line -0,69 1 0,00 0,50 TV equipment none or low high -0,24 1 0,20 0,79 home office none or low high -0,88 1 0,00 0,41 PC efficacy low high 0,10 1 0,71 1,10 lack of utility, knowledge low high 1,37 1 0,00 3,93 attitudes time is money low high 0,09 1 0,52 1,10 socialising tool low high -0,07 1 0,68 0,93 entry obstacles low high 0,82 1 0,00 2,27 hazard low high 0,17 1 0,23 1,18 usability low high 0,21 1 0,15 1,23 country Norway reference Norway Denmark 0,97 1 0,00 2,63 national context Norway Netherlands -0,24 1 0,42 0,78 Norway Germany -0,47 1 0,10 0,62 Norway UK 0,35 1 0,24 1,41 Norway Italy -0,59 1 0,12 0,55 Norway Czechia 0,79 1 0,00 2,20 Norway France -0,01 1 0,97 0,99 Norway Spain 1,13 1 0,00 3,10 25 Data source: EURESCOM P903
  • 26. Chances to drop-out diminish increase with: • With the elderly • work in ICT-poor jobs • with better formal • the Internet perceived to education lack utility for oneself • When living in urban places • the family against it, difficulties to subscribe • If the Internet is being self-taught • residence in Denmark, • If a fixed phone line at Czechia, Spain home no effect: • If a home office • gender equipment in the household • income • household structure • length of use • budget • PC efficacy 26
  • 27. Conclusions • Internet dropout remains an under-researched issue • Influences of national cultures compete with general influences in explaining abandoning the Internet? They complement but cannot replace other explanations. • Dropout will become socially and economically more important when reaching national saturation levels • Actual research omits the supply side and the political context of the Internet 27
  • 28. Cited bibliography ARD/ZDF-AG Multimedia: Nichtnutzer von Online: Einstellungen und Zugangsbarrieren. Media- Perspektiven 8/1999, pp. 415-422. Crompton, Susan, Jonathan Ellison and Kathryn Stevenson: Better things to do or dealt out of the game? Internet dropouts and infrequent users. Canadian Social Trends Summer 2002, pp. 2-5. Fischer, Claude S.: Technology’s retreat: The decline of rural telephony in the United States, 1920 – 1940. Social Science History vol.11, 1987, pp.295 – 327. Gerhards, Maria and Annette Mende: Nichtnutzer von Online: Kern von Internetverweigerern? Media-Perspektiven 8/2002, pp. 363 – 375. Grajczyk, Andreas and Annette Mende: Nichtnutzer von Online: Internet für den Alltag noch nicht wichtig. Media-Perspektiven 8/2001, pp. 398 – 409. Katz, James E. and Philip Aspden: Internet dropouts in the USA. Telecommunications Policy vol. 22, 1998, no. 4/5, pp. 327 – 329. Katz, James E. and Ronald Rice: Social consequences of Internet use. Cambridge MA: MIT Press 2002. Katz, James E. and Philip Aspden: Internet and mobile telephone digital divides. Telecommunications Policy vol. 27 no. 8/9, pp. 597-623. Lenhart, Amanda: Who’s not online. Pew Internet & American Life Project Washington D.C., 21 Sep 2000. Lenhart, Amanda: The evershifting Internet population. Pew Internet & American Life Project Washington D.C., April 2003. Mikami, Shunjii: I-mode florishing Internet culture in Japan. World Intenet Project conference paper Gavle, 21 August 2001. NTIA: A Nation Online. Washington D.C. Feb.2002. Rogers Everett M.: Diffusion of innovations. 4th ed. New York: The Free Press 1995. Thomas, Frank: Telefonieren in Deutschland. MPI for the Study of Societies vol. 21. Frankfurt/New York: Campus 1995. UCLA: Surveying the Digital Future. UCLA Internet Report 2001. Wyatt, Sally, Graham Thomas and Tiziana Terranova (2002) ‘They came, they surfed, they went back to the beach’ in Steve Woolgar (ed) Virtual Society? Get Real. Oxford: Oxford 28 University Press
  • 29. Thank you! If you have any questions: mailto: Frank.ThomasFTR@free.fr 29

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