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 Timothy, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:
“I fear feeling incompetent and overwhelmed.”
Social risks may be expressed as a fear of negative emotions associated with ICT and the ramifications with their friends. For example, Timothy wants to start coding, but is feeling old. The coding language seems overwhelming, and he fears he will not be able to learn. As someone that spent his working career as a tech-repair guy, is afraid of looking incompetent if he cannot pick up any new tech-related skill quickly.
“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 what your goals are. For instance, Timothy wants to build a digital tool for seniors to assess and improve their digital literacy. He has discussed this with others at his local Men’s Shed, but he is afraid it could be too difficult or that the tool would not be useful.