Although it’s no doubt anything but news to the older visitors to the Practical Caravan site, a recent survey suggests that four out of five surfers aged 55 and over have found web access has improved their lives.
The survey was conducted by only digital learning organisation Digital Unite, together with Sky Broadband, and involved speaking to 1,594 people aged 55+ about their surfing habits. Among other things, the survey found that:
- 34% use social networking sites at least once a week
- 18% book tickets online at least once a month
- 61% read the news at least once a week
- 15% pay bills each week
- 29% shop online each week
82% of respondents also said that they save money by buying products and services online and 57% said they were now better in touch with friends and family. 44% said they had found new hobbies and interests and 22% said they can now keep up with their grandchildren.
Being online can also help to evoke positive feelings of wellbeing, with 54% of people saying that it makes them feel connected and 81% said that being online makes them feel part of modern society.
Separate research conducted by Sky Broadband and YouGov also illustrates how people in the UK aged over 55 use the internet. One in three British adults in this age group use social networking at least once a week, 61% read the news online and 18% book tickets online at least once a month.
The research coincides with Digital Unite’s national Spring Online with Silver Surfers’ Day campaign which takes place this week. Around 2,000 free digital taster events are taking place across the UK, helping thousands of older people to learn about using computers and the internet. Venues include schools, colleges, libraries, UK online centres, cafes, community centres, communal lounges, offices and even pubs.
Emma Solomon, Managing Director for Digital Unite said: “This survey confirms what we have long suspected; that having access to digital technology and being equipped with the skills to use it, can bring about life transformation and enhance people’s health and wellbeing. It is absolutely imperative therefore that everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of digital technology, and at Digital Unite we champion older people’s access to and use of it.
To find a Spring Online event call free on 0800 77 1234. To find an event online visit www.ukonlinecentres.com and enter your town or postcode in the ‘Find a Centre’ search box. More details about the campaign are available at www.springonline.org.