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:
“I fear feeling incompetent and overwhelmed.”
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.
“I fear I will get frustrated engaging with others through ICT, which could increase my stress and anxiety.”
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.