It’s often assumed older people are unable to cope with technology and the world wide web. This stereotype is incorrect. Keep in mind that people who pioneered computers and the internet are in their sixties. So the generation that started it all is actually quite active.
Perhaps if everyone over 60 were not collectively termed “the elderly” we might start to see stereotyping improve. Nevertheless, Axesslab’s blog page, Real Facts about the Elderly and the World Wide Web puts things in perspective, at least in the United States. Here are some key points:
- People in the baby boomer generation spend around 27 hours weekly online.
- Of the group aged over 65, seven out of ten go online daily.
- 82% of those in both groups run searches online related to what they’re interested in.
- Two-thirds of seniors use the web to access weather and the news
- 57% shop online.
- 44% want information about food and cooking.
- 43% use it to play games.
- Almost half go online to check for coupons, daily deals, and discounts.
There’s a handy infographic with statistics on the Medalerthelp webpage, but watch out for the pop up ad in the body of the text. It shows the results from a comprehensive survey in lots of detail. The picture above is just one section of the infographic.
Editor’s note: Regardless of the people who do use the Internet, those who don’t are seriously disadvantaged as more businesses and government services move to digital mode.
Digital Divide: Age and Equity
Older people are getting left behind in this digital world, especially if they are women and don’t live in a major city. The Conversation reports on the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) which measures which social groups benefit the most from digital connection, and which ones are being left behind. The score is based on access, affordability and ability to manage digital devices.