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Lapsed use of the internet amongst young people in the UK

- Digital Choice or Digital Exclusion?

In Britain, around 10% of young people aged 17-22 are lapsed internet users, that is, individuals who used to use the internet but not longer do. This group of lapsed users are fascinating. Why do these young people stop using the internet given its prevalence and value in the lives of the majority of young people? Furthermore, what can this group tell us about the relative successes and failures of the current digital inclusion strategy in Britain?

The use of the internet can lead to many potential individual and societal benefits, including improving access to services and support, learning opportunities, and increasing possibilities to participate in society. However, there is significant diversity in the ways that young people access and use the Internet and these differences, specifically, the extent to which individuals are digitally included or excluded, has attracted a great deal of attention from policy makers, practitioners and academics.

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is to undertake a qualitative study to gain an in-depth understanding of the role that the internet and other new technologies plays (or doesn’t play) in the everyday lives of young people.

With backing from Nominet Trust, the study will explore the extent to which non use of the internet by young people is due to issues traditionally related to digital exclusion and / or is an informed digital choice.

About the OII

The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) was founded by the University of Oxford in 2001, as an academic centre for the study of the societal implications of the internet.The OII's mission is to 'shape research, policy, and practice' through four interdependent strategies: high-quality research, collaboration, teaching, and use of the internet as a strategic resource.