Pew's Online Typologies, Part Two: Stationary-Media Users

By March 31, 2009

Pew’s non-mobile typologies are decidedly less tech-savvy, a fact that might be up for some debate. There are some areas of online stationary media that are more sophisticated than their mobile equivalents, such gaming and virtual worlds, that are ignored in the report. Desktop Veterans have broadband and use the Internet for information and to stay in touch with friends. Their cell-phone use is limited to calling and basic applications. Desktop Veterans make up 13 percent of the American adult population and are mainly men in their mid-40s, well-off and well-educated. Drifting Surfers, who share the largest segment of the adult population at 14 percent, use the Internet for basic information gathering and are infrequently online. They can live without cell phones or the Web, and are mainly women in their early 40s, with an average education and middle income


The Information Encumbered suffer from information overload. One-tenth of the adult population, they think that taking breaks from the Internet is good, and still rely on old media to get their information. Two-thirds are men with an average education and lower-middle income.

The Tech Indifferent are not heavy internet users, and they think their cell phones are intrusive. They could easily do without both. The Tech Indifferent are mainly women in their 50s with average education and lower income levels.

Off the Network. Fourteen percent of the US adult population has access to neither cell phones nor the Internet. Pew finds that this group is mainly represented by low-income senior women, as well as a large number of African-Americans.

Pew sees no growth in the Internet use of these groups (including those with broadband), and even some decline, “suggesting that some adult Americans reach a plateau in their technology use,” according to the report.

What group are you in? Find out by taking Pew's quiz.

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