In 2007, Pew Internet embarked on a study that attempted to classify American technology users into 10 different and distinct groups. Each broad category was developed in conjunction with three dimensions that greatly influenced why they use technology. These three A’s that lead to their adoption of information and communications technology (ICT) are as follows:
Of course, virtually any technology user anywhere around the globe (and in this context, Americans), regardless of how heavy or light his or her tech dependence is, would not be able to use any gadget or tech innovation without having the proper resources. Someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, could not, of course, make calls through his mobile network carrier. Someone who can’t secure a decent DSL or cable internet connection can’t, of course, buy items over Amazon or purchase stuff on eBay. Someone who couldn’t afford an iPad would not be able to use its stunning touchscreen for video viewing and gameplay. People who don’t have the money or means to make business calls over VoIP phone services such as RingCentral, do video calls on Skype, or download paid apps on Google Play, wouldn’t get the chance to use any of the said services that facilitate digital consumption, obviously.
Another factor that very well contributes to technological consumption and participation is that of people’s activities and actions. People engage in downloading audio, video, and other media to kill time. While some, on the other hand, choose to participate in generating online content like blog posts, video posts, and news items. Some other people, meanwhile, choose to disseminate the already existing content that came from others, thereby creating the need for tweeting, reposting, and sharing. All of these things and activities wouldn’t be possible without the presence of the mind-blowingly vast technosphere.
Finally, American technology consumers are mostly driven by their habits and views towards their activities. It would be really easier to understand how technology has influenced the American way of living by asking them what their attitudes are towards productivity, personal enrichment activities and hobbies, and keeping themselves connected to family and friends. Admittedly, technology has also taken control over a lot of people’s lives and this fact pretty much accounts for how hefty or how dismal tech consumption really is in America.
With these three factors in mind, technology users and consumers were divided into groups, primarily according to how they utilize the information superhighway. There are heavy users who need to use the Internet along with multitudinous gadgets like cellular phones, laptops, personal computers, tablets, and the like. There are satisfied denizens who use technology to carry out their business operations efficiently. There are late adopters who feel uncomfortable in using extra tools for wirelessness and just get along fine with basic phones. There are people whose internet and gadget usage depend on their limited network resources. There are countless other types of technology users in America; but the common thing about them is that they have chosen a wide range of ICT tools, goods, and services to build up the information society they live in.