Sept. 26, 2013 — -- They're certainly not reading this article, checking e-mail or Facebook, or watching this video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake making fun of hashtags. In fact, they likely don't even know what hashtags are.
They're the Americans who have turned their backs on the Internet.
Fifteen percent of American adults (18 and up) don't use the Internet or email, and 34 percent of those non-Internet users don't use it because they feel it is not relevant to them, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.
And that's not the only reason these individuals don't go online. Some -- 32 percent to be specific -- said the Internet is not very easy to use, a number significantly higher than in previous surveys.
"These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware and hackers," the report reads.
Then 19 percent said they don't go online because of the expense of owning a computer or paying for a connection and 7 percent said they just lack Internet access at their location. The findings are based on telephone interviews made to 2,252 adults, ages 18 and older.
Of course, the big question is: who are these people who don't go on the Internet? Unsurprisingly, they tend to be older. Forty-four percent of those offline are older than 65; only 2 percent are between the ages of 18-29.
But in this day and age, it seems nearly impossible to ignore the Web or connected devices. Unlike the man who made it his mission to avoid the Internet for a full year, 44 percent of these offline Americans have asked a friend or family member to look something up for them on the Net.
Another interesting fact from Pew: 3 percent of adults still connect to the Internet at home via a dial-up service like AOL.
Of course, that group might read this article, it might just take a while for this last sentence to finally load.