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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 Margarete, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:

Example 1
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“I fear feeling incompetent and overwhelmed.”

Example 1

Social risks may be expressed as a fear of negative emotions associated with ICT and the ramifications with their friends. For example, Margarete accidentally started a subscription to Amazon Prime. She tried to cancel it but felt overwhelmed. She is scared to ask for help because it would make her look incompetent. She keeps paying for the service without knowing what she gets from it.

Example 2
“I fear bothering others with my ICT questions and making a fool of myself.”
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Example 2

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, Margarete is not a tech-enthusiast and often rely on her husband for assistance. He tends to do things for her, as opposed to teaching her how to do it for herself. She doesn’t like to ask him to teach her because he gets frustrated if she doesn’t ‘get it’ immediately.


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

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