So, researchers at University College, London, have come up with geographical classifications of the various levels of e- (as in electronic) awareness, and are allowing people to put in their postcodes to see how their area ranks.
I entered in my husband’s old postcode in Scotland and, och, the results were depressing:
The ‘E – unengaged’ are typically groups that do not have access to electronic communications or technologies. Most are too old, too poor or too poorly educated to be able to access them, and instead traditionally rely upon personal contacts they trust for advice. Within this Group there are low levels of literacy and many people do not feel that their life outcomes are much subject to their own decisions. Within this group there is a very low level of ownership of personal computers, very little access to them at work and little ambition to master the skills necessary to take advantage of information technologies. Unsurprisingly, these people have a very low level of using email at any location (home, work and other locations) or participating in other on-line activities.
Members of this Group tend to live in the poorer areas of traditional mining and manufacturing towns and to have conservative social attitudes. A high proportion of the Group is made up of elderly people, many of whom live in social housing or sheltered accommodation.
Type A04 : Mobile’s the limit
This Type has particularly low levels of use of computers and the Internet, knows next to nothing about the technology and has no motivation to do so. They enjoy more traditional modes of communication, but the mobile phone represents the limit of their technical ambition. Many of this Type are female and elderly.
No digital savvy, and no motivation to learn. It probably says more about me that I’m horrified at this. They may be perfectly satisfied with their lot in life.
Here’s the BBCi write-up.