Posts Tagged ‘seniors are intimidated by computers’

Seniors in Joliet take a ride on the information superhighway

It’s a fact that many seniors are intimidated by computers, the Internet, Facebook, etc., but that number is growing smaller every day as more and more older adults embrace a whole new world of communication.

Computer use can help seniors connect in ways that older generations simply couldn’t imagine. The Internet helps make and maintain vital relationships with family, friends and grandchildren. Think about it – computers are available 24/7. The Internet can rekindle confidence and independence, and improved contact with others can ease isolation.

As Gill Adams, of Digital Unite says, “The internet is curiosity’s best friend.”

The latest survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 42 percent of individuals 65 years and older actively access the Internet; 53 percent live in a setting with Internet access. The 42 percent statistic represents a 50 percent jump in Internet use among this age group since 2000, when only 21 percent of 65+ individuals were actively online.

The U.S. Census Bureau goes on to report that many older adults use the Web for three specific reasons:

  • to read e-mail,
  • to use a search engine to find information, and
  • to access news items.

According to nielsen.com, online visitors 65 and older participate in a variety of activities, from e-mail to bill paying. Neilsen found a slight variation for online activity:

  • Personal E-mail
  • Maps online
  • Weather online
  • Pay bills
  • View or post photos
  • Read general news
  • Researched personal health sites
  • Planning travel
  • Searched recipes
  • Read business/financial news

The No. 1 online destination for people over 65 in November 2009 was Google Search, with 10.3 million unique visitors. Windows Media Player and Facebook were No. 2 and No. 3, with 8.2 million and 7.9 million visitors, respectively. Interestingly, Facebook, which came in at No. 3, ranked No. 45 just a year ago among sites visited by senior citizens.

Top online destinations for adults age 65 and older:

  1. Google search
  2. Windows Media Player
  3. Facebook
  4. You Tube
  5. Amazon

Seniors who are ready to jump in and learn about computers and the Internet can contact SeniorNet. The mission of SeniorNet is to provide older adults education for and access to computer technologies to enhance their lives and enable them to share their knowledge and wisdom.

SeniorNet classes are offered in communities throughout the United States.

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