An Analysis of Internet Adopters

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Byung Lee
Janna Quitney Anderson


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.

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How to Cite
Lee, B., & Anderson, J. Q. (2001). An Analysis of Internet Adopters. Operant Subjectivity, 25(1). Retrieved from