Belive it or not, some people just aren't interested in the internet. In recent years, the growth rate for internet adoption has slowed dramatically, while those saying the internet doesn't interest them outnumber those who can't afford to get online. All the recent handwringing about the US falling behind the world in broadband penetration seems misguided. Instead of worrying about the numbers of people online, the focus should be on a more productive internet. The Koreans may have ubiquitous broadband, but they also have deadly 50-hour gaming jags. What matters is whether individuals use their time productively and pleasurably, not whether that time is spent online. More shocking, perhaps, is that there are people who have dial-up that aren't interested in switching to broadband. This means that they've experienced what the internet has to offer but aren't obsessed with consuming it at hyperspeed, shaving precious seconds in page load time, and watching the latest viral video on YouTube at the highest resolution. To some, this may be surprising, but it hardly constitutes falling behind or a matter of national concern.
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