A recent study has shown that more than half of the people in the world today are using the Internet. Those who aren’t connected often don’t have the option to connect or the skills and, in most situations, they will require some help to make that happen.
So, where are those people and why aren’t they connected to the internet? Can we change this in the future?
The Number Of Internet Users Is Increasing Every Single Day
In the early stages of the Internet, it was initially intended for scientists to perform and share their work. Soon enough the endless possibilities the Internet can offer were recognized and every year since then its use was expanding drastically. These days there are millions of people that use the internet for many different reasons.
According to Router Ctrl, back in 1995, there were only 16 million users, but today we can say that more than half of the world’s population is actively using the Internet and this number is increasing day by day.
Out of all the internet users, around 75% live in countries that have the largest economies. The largest number of internet users is in China, which is more than the next three countries together – Japan, India, and the USA.
If we compare the numbers of children and adults, there are more children that are using the Internet mainly because they all have mobile devices and plus they use computers at school.
Top Reasons Why The Other Half Doesn’t Have Internet
When we say that more than half of the world uses the internet, it means that the other half isn’t using it. So shy is that? Let’s go through the main reasons.
Can They Afford Paying For Internet Connection?
The main obstacle to getting solid internet access is the people’s income. Owning a device and other accessories, plus the price of data are the reasons why still most people don’t go online.
According to research conducted by Facebook, a 500Mb per month data plan is still too expensive for almost 2 billion people. And the truth is that 500Mb is not enough to go through the month if this is the only way of connection.
Also, if we take a look at developed and developing nations, the cost of internet service is much more affordable for those in developed countries.
Let’s take the Philippines as an example. In this country mobile data is packed so it is affordable for poor people. Thanks to this, more and more people have the chance to get connected for a price that is pretty affordable for them and that doesn’t affect their monthly income too much.
Is The Internet Available In Their Country?
Depending on the options people have to access the internet, availability can be different. There are several different ways to connect – satellite, wired, and wireless – but although these ways of connection are pretty good, coverage is still the main problem.
Thanks to mobile network connectivity, this condition has become better but still, there is a huge number of people that don’t have 3G or 4G internet.
Most people don’t have the possibility to get a stable and reliable internet connection for a reasonable price. People in rural areas have low incomes, and improving the current infrastructure will cost the service provider much money. In the end, people in these areas won’t use the internet like those in cities primarily because they still don’t realize how they can get the advantage of the internet and use it properly.
Is The Internet Content Relevant?
Since we have mentioned the developed and developing countries we have to say that people in developed countries mainly think of the internet as a way to cut out boredom, while the people in developing countries still have to see how useful the internet can be.
Another problem closely connected to relevance is the language. More than half of the content online is in English. And there are more than 7000 languages used online. Making the internet available in different languages will bring the internet closer to other people.
Of course, people would like to use the internet in their native language. Using a second language is offensive for some of them. Creating content in the local language can lead to increased internet usage in the future.
Relevance can be encouraged by language. If we take Swahili as an example, where more than 95% of the people living in Tanzania speak it, the number of Facebook users increased drastically when this company introduced its service in this language. So, introducing local language solutions for most of the popular online platforms will definitely have an impact on the number of people using the Internet.
Are They Ready To Use The Internet?
At one point in time, we can expect that the internet will be available to every single person in the world. But a new problem will definitely appear when this happens. Are these people going to be ready for that? Those people would have to have the necessary equipment, and the necessary skills, and also, they would have to accept the internet both culturally and socially.
The ability to get online will still be limited for people in Africa, India, or the Middle East because of their literacy rate and education.
Almost 60% of the people in these countries don’t even know what the Internet is or they have never heard of it.
Also, in order to get on the internet, people need to know how to use the devices we normally use to get online. Generally, people who know how to use mobile devices or computers will have a better understanding of the Internet than those who don’t know how to use those devices.
Today, there are ongoing efforts to make the Internet more affordable and the people digitally literate. Several different projects are being active all around the world today to help more and more people learn how to read. Some projects try to achieve this by text messaging. Sadly, this is the truth today as more and more people communicate using text messages instead of writing letters, postcards, and similar.
We hope we have made it a bit clearer why the others in the world are not connected to the Internet. Yes, communication is important in everyday life and it really has to work flawlessly in every part of the world. And since affordability is not the main reason for this, we think that in the near future the number of internet users will increase drastically if all the conditions are fulfilled.