top of page

Perceived Social Risk

Social risks are present when people are concerned about losing social status from owning and using, or not owning and using, ICT. They are focussed on the personal and social implications. Social risks include perceptions around being ridiculed, embarrassed, feeling vulnerable or anxious. Social risk is often caused by having a lack of digital confidence and trust. There is often an unwillingness to engage with ICT due to feelings of inadequacy and discomfort.

For Amon, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:

Example 1
Amon 3_edited
“I fear feeling incompetent and overwhelmed.”

Example 1

These risks may be expressed as a fear of negative emotions associated with ICT and the ramifications on friends and family. For example, Amon has not engaged much with social media because his family makes fun of his difficulties engaging with technology. He jokes about it, too, to keep matters light, but this discomfort prevents him from engaging with social media.

Example 2
“I fear I will get frustrated engaging with others through ICT, which could increase my stress and anxiety.”
Amon 2_edited

Example 2

This is the fear of not understanding how to do something on your device and getting frustrated and stressed with what your friends will think. This can also lead to increased ICT anxiety. For instance, encouraged by a friend, Amon has tried to engage in some computer classes at the local library. Still, he felt he was much slower than everyone else because of his technological and language skills, which made him anxious. He ended up dropping the training and never came back.


Can you relate to those example above?  Go to strategies to learn about how Amon can address these issues.

Individual Strategies for Managing Social Risk

Amon Strategy-1


Pace yourself. Take a deep breath and start simple. Do one thing at a time. Be kind to yourself. Remember, you are not the only person who doesn’t know ICT. Each learner has their own pace, and it is okay to take longer to engage with a task you do not know.


Be brave. Trust yourself and try to be confident. Remember all the achievements you have had in your life. Learning an ICT task might be hard, but it is just another challenge - it will get easier with time.


New skills. Consider the costs and benefits of learning new ICT skills. Start by learning skills that are most beneficial for you. If you feel uncomfortable with social media – explore it when you are interested and comfortable.


Capture your learnings. When learning something new - take notes either in a physical book or in a word document so you can refer to them later and practise. This is very helpful to ensure you don’t forget or feel anxious about it.


Practise. The more you practise using ICT, the more confident you will be. Practise when you are by yourself to feel more confident when among your community.


Make it easier. Consider using larger print in your browser or have a program such as NaturalReader, read the text aloud to you. These apps can often read multiple languages, or you can download a version that is for your preferred language.

Relational Strategies for Managing Social Risk

Amon Strategy-2


Support Groups. Consider forming support groups with friends who share similar cultural backgrounds and interests to act as your trusted circle, supporting you and helping as you share ICT issues and experiences.


Seeking help. Ask your partner, children or other family members to help you by demonstrating a specific task step by step. Try to execute the task as they teach you. Remember to take notes while they are helping so that you can do it again later on your own. Explain to them that they need to be patient and provide positive feedback.


Two-way Conversation. Explain to your helpers that this needs to be a two-way conversation. It is not about them teaching you but about both of you arriving at a goal together.


Sufficient time to help. Make sure your family members/friends are supportive and have plenty of time and patience to help you. It might be confusing if they do not have sufficient time to go step by step with you.


Social media. If you want to begin exploring social media – choose a small group of friends from your language group or cultural background and let them know you are learning. If you are not sure what you can post on social media, discuss it with your experienced friends/family members who use it. Try involving your partner in some of these activities.


Communities. Ask if your ethnic/language community runs a computer class or has a peer program for ICT learning.
Anker 1

Strategies to Managing Perceived Social Risk

Social risks are aligned both with the person’s ICT ability and the person’s confidence to overcome the perceived risk and try to engage with the digital device. There are individual things people can do themselves but also the importance of relational influences impact a person’s ability to try new things and interact with ICT.

Amon Strategy 2

You may be interested in
Other potential risks
that Amon is facing:

will this digital device work the way I want it to – it includes forgetting instructions and managing passwords.
fears focused with online payments, losing privacy, identity theft and automatic payments.
concerns that digital devices encourage physical inactivity and becoming addicted to the devices as well as the strains on eyesight.
worries about online transactions, not receiving the purchased goods and processing errors.
fear of buying too much online and the costs with upgrading software and devices.
bottom of page