This doesn’t mean the tech has completely run out of room to grow, but there may be barriers that would require deeper social solutions. Cost, as you might imagine, is a central factor: computer ownership is highest among those with strong incomes ($75,000 and up), and a 2015 survey showed that 43 percent of people without fast home internet access cited the price as an obstacle. A lack of rural broadband options also limits just how far connectivity can go, while older people aren’t always as comfortable with technology as their younger counterparts.
You can see some movement. The number of smartphone-only internet users jumped from 12 percent in 2016 to 20 percent this year. However, the sheer omnipresence of certain technologies has led Pew to consider changing its questions. Internet access is almost like electricity, Pew said. The focus may need to be on the ways they use services, such as voice assistants and smart home devices.