A study published by the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea) last Friday (7) showed the socioeconomic profile of Internet users in Brazil, as well as their digital behavior. The data, collected in 2017 by the Regional Center for Studies for the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br) of the Internet Steering Committee in Brazil, point out that 61% of Brazilian homes are connected and that the virtual world reproduces the inequalities of the world real.
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Ipea survey reveals that 61% of Brazilian homes are connected to the internet – Photo: Raíssa Delphim / dnetc
According to the study, 120 million Brazilians, over the age of 10, have access to the Internet, which represents 67% of the population. The disparities in the consumption of digital content, however, appear in view of the country’s economic profile. In classes A and B, for example, 90% of people are connected on a daily basis. Among classes D and E, this number drops to 42%.
For André Miceli, coordinator of the Digital Marketing MBA at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), two factors directly contribute to this difference: the historical and the cultural. “Classes A and B have had access for longer, it came first for them. For this reason, they are able to better understand the importance and functioning of the internet ”, he explains. The expert also points out that the quality and the possibility of access has a great influence on this division.
Another data pointed out by Ipea is that 70% of city dwellers are connected, against only 44% in rural areas. For Miceli, the logic that explains the disparity is the same. “The economic cut is what interferes most. In rural areas, those in classes A and B continue to have more access than classes D and E. The farmer, for example, is also passing through the city, so he overcomes this disadvantage. But the poor rural worker does not have the same possibility ”, he highlights, stressing that large urban centers are much more dependent on the internet than rural areas, which helps to increase the difference.
Talking about solutions to these disparities involves extensive and important debates. However, Miceli suggests two initiatives that can help, especially if they are coordinated. One is the creation of collective accesses to the internet, much like the cafes of the 1990s and 2000s. He argues that, at first, the proposal can democratize more the access of those who are unable or do not know how to consume digital content .
But, in a second moment, it is necessary to talk about infrastructure. “When people are more accustomed, it will be necessary to think and debate coverage, antennas, data packages and everything else that limits access for users and regions”, adds Miceli, who continues: “The more infrastructure and supply, the more conditions for the access».
Men and women on the internet
Another index pointed out in the study by Ipea, based on data collected by Cetic.br in 2017, is the difference between the habits of the male and female audience on the Internet. Men represent 51.3% of the share that consumes news and listen to music online, against 48.7% of women. They are also the majority in the actions of playing online and downloading game and movie content, representing more than 60%.
Miceli says that, although small, the difference shows a cultural issue of creation. The professor explains that, soon, these numbers tend to change and follow the logic of the population: about 52% of Brazilians are women.
For him, the biggest difference between the presence and activities of men and women on the internet is in rural areas. “I believe that this is associated with the way the boys were raised, which they were educated to like. Today that is changing, but in the not too distant past, women were created for the home. It is the reflection of the older generations and ends up reaching more those who are in rural areas ”, he explains.
Digital Confidence Indicator
The Ipea study also points out that young people and adults, between 10 and 34 years old, have a greater presence on the internet. In terms of news consumption, this slice consumes 58.5%. Internet users aged 60 or over represent 5.3%.
According to the Digital Confidence Indicator prepared by FGV, young people up to 17 years old, who were born in a digital culture, are more pessimistic about technology. Meanwhile, the elderly population is more optimistic. “Those over 65 years old live with only the good part. Technology, in general, helps these people overcome problems. It is a profile that is further removed from the exposure of privacy or the possibility of seeing technology advancing to the point of threatening some jobs ”, explains Miceli.
The expert also warns that most companies turn their digital market to young people. Meanwhile, the public over 65 is present on the network, consuming content and having a more positive position in relation to the internet, even if they are present in a lower percentage compared to other age groups from 10 years old.
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