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 Rosa, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear bothering others with my ICT questions and making a fool of myself.”
This risk is demonstrated by not wanting to bother others with questions and the fear of making a fool of oneself because they don’t know how to use ICT. For instance, Rosa does not know how to use some of the functions on her new iPad, but she thinks this is a very basic question and she feels embarrassed asking this to the member of her ethnic community for fear of being perceived as ignorant.
“I fear I’m not going to be able to accomplish what I set out to do, and I’ll get frustrated.”
Social risks may manifest as a fear of not accomplishing ICT-related goals. This can be frustrating, especially when others are aware of your goals. For instance, Rosa is trying to create a group on WhatsApp to connect with her family spread across three different countries. She has contacted her cousins via WhatsApp, asking them to join the group but forgot to tell them she was Rosa. As a result, they rejected her attempt to include them in a group for not knowing the request was coming from her. This rejection made her frustrated and powerless.