An Analysis of Internet Adopters
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 25 - Issue 1 p. 11- 36
Millions have gone online in the past five years but not all have completely adopted the Internet. This research employed Q methodology to classify Internet users and explore reasons why some users are more inclined to embrace Internet technology than others. The respondents were forty college students who sorted a 46-statmetn Q sample. Results revealed three distinct viewpoints toward the adoption of the Internet. "Assimilators" absorb and incorporate the Internet into their thinking and lifestyle. "Convenience Users," seeking instant gratification, move quickly on the Internet; they hop on to get what they want when they want it and they hop out. "Reluctant Users" prefer real-life experiences to the virtual ones offered on the Internet. They like face-to-face interaction with other people and have a fear that the seductive power of the Internet might change their lifestyle. A usage survey that accompanied the Q sort also showed that three groups are different in the purposes of their Internet use. Communication was the most important purpose of Internet use except with the Reluctant Users, who valued information gathering more than communication. Respondents' gender and level of perceived Internet savvy seemed to be factor predictors.