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 Joshua, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear I will get frustrated engaging with others through ICT, and this could increase my stress and anxiety.”
This risk perception may manifest as a fear of not understanding how to do something on your device and getting frustrated and stressed what your friends will think. This can also lead to increased ICT anxiety. For instance, Joshua’s had cataract surgery and frustrated he can’t see very well. He’s feeling stressed and anxious that he won’t be able to keep up in his beginners’ ICT class and make a fool of himself, so he stays at home by himself.
“I fear bothering others with my ICT questions and making a fool of myself.”
Social risks may manifest as a fear of bothering others with questions and making a fool of oneself because they don’t know how to use ICT. For instance, Joshua is single and does not have as good grasp of ICT as his peers. He also lacks people around to help. His friends are not as tech savvy, and he is not close with his children and grandchildren.