The purpose of this document is to provide an up to date review of current and recent studies, reports and policy documents that examine issues around digital exclusion, with a particular focus on discontinued use of the Internet by young people. It forms a part of the research that is being carried out for the Lapsed Use of the Internet study, commissioned by the Nominet Trust, that aims to explore why around 10% of young people in Britain stop going online, despite the prevalence and value of the Internet in the lives of the majority of young people. Through interviews with individuals identified as “lapsed Internet users” informed by previous work in this area the research aims:
- To examine why young people stop using the Internet; and determine the extent to which this is due to reasons of digital exclusion or digital choice.
- To explore the implications of non-use of the Internet in the daily lives of these young people.
- To propose how the experiences of young people who no longer use the Internet can inform the digital inclusion strategy in the UK.
The purpose of the review is to inform the empirical phase of the study and the final dissemination of the project. It is an evolving document that will be developed throughout the study and is not at this stage intended for publication or distribution beyond the project team.
In the document below we first outline the existing assumptions made about young people and the Internet and justify the need for the current project. As there has been such a small amount of work on discontinued Internet use, non user studies may also support our thinking for this study. Thus, we review the current academic research on digital inclusion and go on to review the work that has been done on non use of the Internet in general and on young people in particular. Next, we review the current policy context in the UK and then consider methodological issues and approaches related to understanding non or discontinued Internet use. Finally we outline the conceptual framework that we will be using to inform the empirical phase of the study.
Please note, this is a draft process document and is not published as a final or completed document. It is published as part of Nominet Trust’s principles of openly sharing process, progress and outcomes.
If referenced, please quote as:
Geniets, A. and Eynon, R. (2011) Breaking out or breaking off? Discontinued Internet use of young people in the UK: A literature review. Draft process document accessed [date] from [url]