In some countries, particularly in the developing world, there appears to be some confusion about what exactly the internet is. The Pew Research Center
conducted a survey in the U.S. and 11 developing countries, finding that sizeable shares of people report owning a smartphone but also say they don't use the internet
. Of course, it is possible to use a smartphone without using the internet, though the experience is probably rather unfulfilling.
The lack of awareness about the internet really became apparent when people were asked about popular apps. In South Africa for example, 10 percent of respondents said that they don't use the internet but still use WhatsApp
. Likewise, 6 percent say they don't use the internet but still use Facebook. In the Philippines, 12 percent said they don't use the internet but still use Facebook while 1 percent use WhatsApp despite saying they never go online.