Your Wealth Affects Your Internet Usage

Internet Usage

A stunning new report from Fast Company asks Why Are the Rich So Good at the Internet? It kind of seems obvious at first, but even within the tiers of people well-able to afford technology, there’s a difference in how much you use the Internet depending on your income.

The report is fascinating, and puzzling. But we think we can make some guesses as to what’s going on (take these with a grain of salt; they’re just theories):

  • The rich have more leisure time, so more time to play online.
  • The rich got that way through being thrifty, so they’re keener to use online shopping to find a bargain.
  • The rich have higher-tech jobs, so they’re naturally more Internet-savvy.
  • The rich are better educated, so they know more about what computers can do.
  • The rich have been able to afford computers for a longer time and so are more experienced. This is a little Easter egg – a $40,000/year and $80,000/year salary can afford the same computer – in 2010. In 1990, computers were much more expensive compared to the cost-of-living then, so only the richer household could have afforded them then. The poorer users have to catch up in learning.