With around 75% of New Zealand homes online that leaves about a million people who do still do not have access to the internet in this country.

Worldwide an estimated one billion people have access. That’s leaves around 5.7 billion who don’t.

The main reasons are they can’t afford it, are too young to pick up a mouse or the quality of the connection is so slow it’s not worth it (for remote areas). Or perhaps some of these people are simply disinterested?

I have another conclusion to throw into the mix.

It might be hard to believe, but some people proactively avoid the internet. In fact, they’re downright scared of it. And they should be – it’s coming to get you whether you like it or not.

In my job I’m constantly researching new and emerging trends on the internet and have become a gun at finding almost anything using public search tools such as Google, Pipl, online telephone directories, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.

YouTube
?

Yes. It’s now one of my number one topic-finding tools.

Here’s why…

A few years ago a friend who has never met or seen their father asked me to help find him using the internet. This person’s father is an expert in their field. World famous in fact. He speaks at conferences all over the world, has featured in magazine articles and his work has been published.

I searched for hours and for once was stumped. No photos or profiles of this person existed on the web! It appeared that they didn’t have any presence on the internet…

I did however, eventually find an email address, which appeared on the website of his past employer. We contacted him via an agency. Sadly this person didn’t want anything to do with his offspring and wouldn’t even send us a photograph or family health history.

Recently I thought I’d try again to find a picture. This time I hit the jackpot.

On YouTube I found a video of a television broadcast where he had been interviewed on the news. So we now know what he looks like. Even through the grainy footage on YouTube we can pick out distinguising family features.

Imagine that possibility even just five years ago. Amazing.

So even people who might deliberately choose not to be on the internet are ending up on the internet. It’s hard to escape.