If you're reading this, you're on the internet since this is a web-only feature of AnnistonStar.com -- unless someone printed a copy for you, but that's beside the point. And I'll make a broad assumption that you're likely online every day, one way or another. Maybe more than you'd like to admit.
It also means you're not one of those Americans who do not use the internet. Ever.
A new study from the Pew Research Center shows that 11 percent of Americans don't use the internet. No Facebook. No Netflix. No email. For those of us who rely on the web on a daily basis, both at work and at home, that could seem ludicrous.
Here, then, is this explanation from the Pew report:
"Seniors are the age group most likely to say they never go online. Although the share of non-internet users ages 65 and older decreased by 7 percentage points since 2016, about a third today do not use the internet, compared with only 2% of 18- to 29-year-olds. Household income and education are also indicators of a person’s likelihood to be offline. Roughly one-in-three adults with less than a high school education (35%) do not use the internet, but that share falls as the level of educational attainment increases. Adults from households earning less than $30,000 a year are far more likely than the most affluent adults to not use the internet (19% vs. 2%). Rural Americans are more than twice as likely as those who live in urban or suburban settings to never use the internet."
Now, think about Alabama and the people you know and it's easy to imagine that 11 percent, and more. Alabama's rural counties are well known for having poor internet and broadband coverage. Poverty makes it difficult to pay for internet service, either at home or on a smartphone, and swaths of Alabama are beset with low wages. Given the need for internet service in today's job markets and business world, rural counties that have poor coverage are in desperate need for an upgrade in this type of infrastructure.
-- Phillip Tutor