According to this new edition of the Digital Barometer, piloted by Arcep, Arcom, CGE and ANCT, the vast majority of French people use the Internet (92%), with the proportion of Internet users reaching 96% among people in their 60s. Only people over 70 years old stand out with 63% of Internet users. On average, the French spend 32 hours per week in front of a screen, which is almost one fifth of the weekly time or a little less than one third awake. More than half of the population spends on average more than three hours a day in front of a screen.
The old uses are installed, the new uses take off
Some uses are showing signs of decline, such as social networks (62% vs. 67% in 2020), which have already been rejected by younger people for several years (68% vs. 84% in 2017). But old uses are well established, such as job search is slowly progressing (29% against 26% in 2017). Note that 83% of unemployed workers use the Internet to look for a job. Administrative and fiscal procedures are not evolving much in the long term, but are already at a high level (71% of the population as in 2020, against 67% in 2017).
The share of online buyers had jumped during the health crisis, this habit has not fallen back (77% against 76% in 2020). If 7% of the population owns a virtual reality headset, one French person out of five has already tried this new digital tool and 1 out of 5 would like to do so.
However, more people are encountering barriers to full digital use
48% of French people experience at least one form of difficulty that prevents them from fully using digital tools and the Internet (+13 points compared to 2020). More than equipment or Internet access, it is the complete mastery of digital tools that remains the primary obstacle to the full use of digital technology (25%, +7 points compared to 2020). At first glance, this may seem contradictory to the increase in digital usage by the French, but greater use of digital tools can also be accompanied by an awareness of their limitations and therefore an identification of a margin for improvement in the mastery of these tools.
Growing inequalities in digital skills
Two years after the beginning of the health crisis, on average, more than one out of two French adults feel they have a better command of these tools (56%). However, this average is underpinned by major disparities. Indeed, if the feeling of having better appropriated digital tools with the pandemic is marked among executives and higher intellectual professions (71%), on the other hand, the majority of French people among the most vulnerable (non-graduates and people aged 70 and over) do not feel that they have gained in mastery over the last two years (53% and 56% respectively). As a result, the gap is widening in terms of the French feeling that their skills have increased.
Difficulties in completing administrative procedures online are increasing
The dematerialization of public services has been unfolding for two decades, with a strong acceleration recently. We have seen an increase in the proportion of people who at least sometimes have difficulty completing administrative procedures online (54%, +16 points compared to 2020).
Faced with these difficulties, the most popular solution is to ask for explanations in order to successfully complete the process alone (40%, +16 points compared to 2020). Consequently, when faced with online difficulties, on average, the French prefer to learn and increase their skills in order to become more autonomous, especially since these online procedures often involve sensitive personal data and can have significant effects on daily life.
Some of the features offered by digital devices contribute to better access to online content
Among the different functionalities available, adjusting the brightness (83%) and zooming the screen (80%) are the most used by the entire population equipped with a digital terminal, while about 6 out of 10 French people equipped with a digital terminal have already used adjusting the font size, increasing the contrast and voice commands. Audiodescription and color inversion are not widely used, with about a third of French people having used one of these features. The users of these features are generally under 40 years old, with notably a greater use of voice commands, color inversion and audio description by 18-24 year olds.
Security and trust are at the heart of the uses
The news shows that digital technology brings risks (computer attacks, scams, loss of data, etc.), the majority of individuals believe that they have certainly (18%) or probably (38%) personally been a victim of unwanted access to their personal data via the Internet.
This is probably why almost all users take precautions with more (55%) or less (38%) constant vigilance.
The terms and conditions of a social network or video sharing platform have been consulted by 52% of Internet users. Among Internet users who have read the terms and conditions at least once, 77% indicate that this information is easily accessible. On the other hand, ease of understanding seems to be less of an issue, with 53% of Internet users who have consulted the terms and conditions believing that they are easy to understand.
42% of Internet users have already reported an account or inappropriate content using the mechanisms set up by social networks or video sharing platforms. The authors of reports largely consider that the systems in place are easily accessible (87%), simple to use (85%) and easy to understand (80%).
Initiated in 2000, the objectives of this study are:
- measure the adoption of digital equipment by the French and study digital practices
- to detect inequalities in access and skills, whether voluntary or involuntary;
- to allow public authorities to anticipate major trends and implement a policy that encourages everyone to adopt digital technology.
In 2022, The survey was conducted between June 15 and July 15, 2022 among 4,184 people, divided into three distinct target populations (12 to 17 years old, 18 years old and over, 18 years old and over far from digital), with adapted questionnaires and specific quotas, and thanks to two types of collection:
- 3,448 people aged 15 and over were interviewed online in the VCT survey (within each region, quota on: age, gender, PCS, level of education, size of town, type of housing).
- 573 people aged 18 and over, referred to in the report as "digitally remote" (i.e., not having a fixed Internet connection at home), were interviewed by telephone, using quotas from a flash survey conducted by telephone among 1,000 people aged 18 and over (gender, age, social class, region, city size)
- 163 people aged 12 to 14 were interviewed online, after obtaining the prior consent of one of their parents, with the following quotas: age, gender, size of town, and social class of the reference person
All survey data since 2007 is available in open data on the data.gouv.fr website.
- < target='_blank' class='fr-link' p data-block-key="vmx4w">1. 2022 edition of the Digital Barometer
2. Data from the Digital Barometer on the data.gouv.fr website