Digital Sceptics

Indifferent use of digital technologies

These families took pains to be indifferent about their use of digital technologies, and sought to maintain a clear separation between on and offline life.

Somewhat anxious, they were sceptical of the digital environment, preferring offline activities, and being cautious when online.

Culture of Digital Technology Use

Parents and children in these families imposed their own constraints on internet access. They viewed using the internet and online services as increasing their exposure to social (victimisation) and economic (financial) risks. Privacy was maintained by limiting online transactions.

Essentially being offline was their default setting as they didn't think using the internet added much to "real life". ​Consequently, they had a low social presence online, just using social media to keep in touch with close friends and family.

These families had relatively low digital know-how, had no formal IT training, and did not have access to quality IT support through institutional networks. Nor were they incentivized to learn independently through online resources.

Outcomes

Overall, these families tended to work on developing their personal and practical abilities offline, and did not attempt to develop digital capital to enhance these. Although they may have had poor economic capital to support quality digital use, they could not visualise how digital technologies could bring further capital benefits. Without the motivation to build digital capital online, such families are at risk of increased exclusion with the digitization of work and home life.

 

In valuing practical offline life, children were likely to pursue community, personal care, technician or trade roles which they believed did not have a high demand for digital knowhow.