For about fifteen years now, we have been facing an increase in the presence of digital technology in our daily lives. Today, it has become common to use the Internet to make medical appointments or conduct administrative procedures. This digitalization makes it possible to have access to many services without having to commute. However, it has led to a divide within the population as many people struggle with digital. This is called computer illiteracy.

Computer illiteracy, or digital illiteracy, is a situation in which an adult does not master the digital tools that allow him/her to access information, process it and act independently in his/her daily life.

It is estimated that more than 1 in 3 users lacks basic digital skills.

But who are these people in a situation of illectronism?

Illiterate people are particularly concerned by illectronism since 90% of web content is written. But people who can read and write can also have great difficulty understanding, selecting, and checking content on the Internet. At the same time, many young people, born with these new technologies and extremely comfortable on social networks or game consoles, face difficulties when the use is less fun.

The CSA has identified 5 typical profiles of people related to digital technology. Among these 5 profiles, 3 concern people experiencing difficulties in the uses:

● The « Offbeat »

They are older people, who do not have an equipment problem. Indeed, they have several devices, such as a computer and smartphone, and have a home internet connection. They regularly use the Internet but have already felt a disconnect with those around them regarding the use of certain technologies. Despite this feeling of disconnect that sometimes makes them feel lonely, these people would like to train to progress.

● The « Rebels »

Rebels often have little equipment to connect to the Internet and use it very rarely. Overall, they do not use the Internet because they are not interested, and they do not feel concerned. These people do not have a feeling of lag or frustration because their lives are organized anyway without the Internet. Retirees are over-represented in this category.

● The « Disconnected »

These people have on average less than 2 pieces of equipment at home. They are thus less well equipped than the rest of the population (other than rebels). What particularly characterizes this group is that none of these individuals have an internet connection at home. These people are therefore connected only via their mobile network. However, they use the Internet on a daily basis. Their main difficulty does not lie in digital uses but rather in their access to equipment.

For example, there are people in a white zone where internet access is non-existent, or in a grey area where access is insufficient to maintain a connection. There are also people with low incomes (less than 900 euros per month). Their budget does not allow them to acquire a computer or have an Internet subscription. Economic insecurity is therefore a factor reinforcing digital exclusion.

Thus, all individuals can be concerned by illectronism. To reduce this digital divide within the population, training and support can be a solution.

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To learn more about the typology of illectronists, consult the CSA study.