Email habits of government officials have become a hot topic after revelations emerged that Hillary Clinton used a private email address in violation of State Department guidelines, which may have unfairly shielded her emails as secretary of state from public scrutiny.
Two months ago, Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department, but questions remain whether select emails had been deleted, as Clinton’s emails were hosted on a server at her home.
On Sunday, while discussing the scandal on NBC, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was pressed about his own emailing habits after he criticized Clinton. NBC host Chuck Todd asked Graham if he has his own private email account. In reply, Graham made a candid confession; he’s never used email, ever. (See video below)
“I don’t email. No, you can have every email I’ve ever sent. I’ve never sent one,” Graham said. “I don’t know what that makes me.”
Graham, who turns 60 this year, is part of a shrinking minority of older Americans who have been left behind in the digital revolution. A 2012 Pew survey found that among Americans in the 50−64 age group, 31 percent have never used email, and only 46 percent check their inboxes on a daily basis. In contrast, only 12 percent of Americans in the 18−29 age group have never used email, and 57 percent check their emails daily.
For Americans under 30, the Internet usage rate is already near the 100 percent plateau, and older Americans are catching up. The number of senior citizens on the Web soared from 15 percent in 2000 to 53 percent in 2012. Seven out of 10 Internet users in the 65-plus age bracket browse the Web on a daily basis.
Still, a large fraction of senior citizens will never get to use email. As of April 2012, 66 percent of Americans older than 75 did not use the Internet, and in that category, only 4 percent said they plan on using the Internet or email in the future.
Lindsey Graham has served as senator for South Carolina since 2003, and is considered a potential presidential candidate in the 2016 Republican primary.