Expect more efforts to connect the disconnected, and teach seniors about the internet.
In a piece on an 82-year-old going online for the first time, The Washington Post called attention to a rising issue—the divide between those who use the Internet and those who don’t (13% in the U.S., and 41% among senior citizens).
While seniors are increasingly connected (27% have tablets), many are still hesitant to hop on the digital bandwagon. Some are held back by economic or medical barriers, but many just feel that they’ve missed too much to catch up. Among offline seniors, 66% said they would need help if they ever wanted to learn about the Internet.
Luckily for them, services are popping up to fill this need. Toronto-based Cyber-Seniors links tech-curious elders with savvy young volunteers to facilitate community and bridge the divide. The group created a documentary last year that earned buzz and shed light on the issue. And in November the AARP partnered with DoSomething.org to recruit thousands of young people, including YouTube influencers, to teach older people about using the Internet.
Expect more efforts to connect the disconnected, as seniors who go online have proven less isolated, more educated about their health and more independent.
Image credit: DoSomething.org