Two thirds of older people have never used the Internet

  simonjary 10:53 14 Aug 13
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According to the Office for National Statistics most people aged 75 and over have never used the Internet.

Most old people have never used the Internet

Why is this, and what would make more senior citizens get online?

  Forum Editor 11:09 14 Aug 13

Why is this?

I think it boils down to two reasons - most people of that age don't feel the need to get online, and/or they view computers as things that they would not understand.

I have tried to teach an 86 year-old man how to use email on a laptop, and he just couldn't manage it. In the end we both agreed to call it a day - he carried on phoning his family instead.

I think that we have to accept that there are aspects of technology that many (but obviously not all) people over 75 might generally struggle to grasp. It's a passing problem though, and will largely disappear as the current generation of middle-aged online users reach old age. They'll have spent decades online, and they'll carry on until the time comes for their last power-down.

  Quickbeam 11:14 14 Aug 13

Nothing more can be added to that observation FE.

  spuds 11:23 14 Aug 13

I suppose you could ask why many people in the 1930/40's didn't own things that are regarded as essentials nowadays. To most people aged 75 or above, perhaps regard the internet as a non-essential, but are being 'forced' into using it. This can only lead to further reluctance among the older generation, who are probably not able or equipped to handle this modern 'must have' world ?.

The government have made a number of suggestions over the years, regarding "access for all", but what as materialised from those encouraging speeches. Very little. What's the point in telling people to go to their local library to use and learn on facilities there, then at the same time, close the library due to suppose funding resources?.

  simonjary 11:59 14 Aug 13

As it's about 25 years since PCs became reasonably common in homes, that makes the 75 year old about 50 when they turned their back on new technology.

So what tech will today's 50 year olds reject as not for them in 25 years time?

  Woolwell 12:00 14 Aug 13

No mention has been made of health including eyesight. People with poor eyesight or arthritis for example will have difficulty in using a computer. In addition there is the cost and perceived difficulty of use plus spam, viruses, updates, etc.

I know a lady in her seventies who gave up using a laptop and did without for several years but has now got an iPad and is finding it easy to use. Perhaps tablets are the way to get older people introduced to the net.

  Mr Mistoffelees 12:09 14 Aug 13

I really can't see the need to try and push older people into using computers and going online if they don't feel the need.

"So what tech will today's 50 year olds reject as not for them in 25 years time?"

I'm only 49 and have no desire to own a smart phone. I do, however, expect to still play games on the PC for many years to come. Just a matter of personal priorities.

  Forum Editor 12:11 14 Aug 13

"that makes the 75 year old about 50 when they turned their back on new technology."

I'm not sure that these people turned their backs on new technology so much as they weren't as grabbed by it as were their children. By the time they (the parents) realised that the internet was becoming inextricably embedded in the life of society it was too late - for many the technology involved seemed to them to be just too complex to bother with. It was enough that they had to cope with mobile phones and video recorders.

In 25 years time - who knows? The rate at which information technology advances will mean that much of today's cutting edge stuff will seem positively prehistoric in a quarter of a century's time. Every child born in past couple of decades has grown up with computers, and when these people are 50 years old I doubt that they will reject any form of technology as 'not for them'.

  wee eddie 12:18 14 Aug 13

As the Government appears unable to make many of it's Forms compatible with much the Internet Software that has been developed since Windows XP and totally incompatible with Apple Computers, I think that they would be well advised to look at the Beam in their own eye before criticising the Mote in that of other's.

My Mother, 92, has been introduced to a Computer and can see absolutely no reason to acquire one. She was persuaded to get Sky for her TV, but only because of the Horse Racing and Tennis.

As I don't see any reason to have a TV, I can relate to her feelings on the matter.

p.s. DAB Radio is a low quality alternative to FM. Why is it being foisted on us. I have recently listened to Radio 3 on my brother's DAB ~ It's pathetic

  Quickbeam 12:26 14 Aug 13

"p.s. DAB Radio is a low quality alternative to FM. Why is it being foisted on us. I have recently listened to Radio 3 on my brother's DAB ~ It's pathetic"

The choice and convenience benefit outweighs the the technical quality, just like the ability to have your entire CD collection on your phone as mp3 24/7. Vinyl and reel-to-reel is even better, but who now bothers with all that kerfuffle to listen to music...?

  wee eddie 12:32 14 Aug 13

Simon: The internet hardly existed 25 years ago. Windows '95 was probably the beginning of the Domestic PC and even then they were about as common as cars prior to the Model T Ford. The internet, in '95, was a world almost entirely inhabited by geeks and weirdos.

Say, 15 years ago and you'd be closer to reality, but even then they were the stamping ground of teenage geeks, rather than Mums and Dads.

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