SCMP Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Going online out for married women


Most married women who steer clear of the Internet do so because they believe they lack computer knowledge, a survey has found.

Market researcher ACNielsen, commissioned by, interviewed 400 married women aged from 25 to 50 who had not surfed the Net in the past three months. About 60 per cent of the respondents were in paid work. Only two per cent had received higher education while more than half were below matriculation level.

Fifty-nine per cent had access to the Internet at home but only 13 per cent had online experience. Of those who had Internet access, 79 per cent claimed they did not surf the Net because they did not know how to use computers.

Sixty-three per cent said proficiency in English was another obstacle as most Internet content was in English. Nearly half said they did not have the time to surf the Net.

The survey found about 70 per cent thought the Internet had become an indispensable part of life, but 62 per cent also felt left behind by the new technology.

A spokesman for iCare said the findings indicated the respondents, particularly those with lower education, found it hard to overcome "computer-phobia" and enjoy cyberspace.

This would create communication problems as they would fail to understand what their children were doing on the Net, the spokesman said.

There are more than 2.2 million Internet users in Hong Kong. An estimated 45 per cent of them are women.