Friday, May 04, 2007

Watch out: the seniors are coming

Seniors and elderly have long been considered groups not fit for internet. Seniors are the 50+ years group, which is fast increasing in The Netherlands and Germany. The elderly group over 65 years has long been written off as internet potential. But a press release made clear that the situation is changing fast and that large groups of seniors and elderly are no longer just sitting in front of the window watching the world go by. They have become active on internet and almost as active as teenagers, although they use it differntly.

Recently the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) published a report on seniors in cooperation with Seniorweb. From a survey among the members and visitors of Seniorweb it appeared that seniors use internet as much as teenagers do. No less than 58 percent of the seniors indicate to be more than once online daily, while 61 percent of teenagers do so. This is a big difference with the scores of five years ago.

Seniors prefer e-mailing; 96 percent indicates that, while 82 percent of the teenagers say so. Just surfing is done by 76 percent of the teenagers and 60 percent by the seniors. Real differences are there in other applications. 95 percent of the teenagers spend time on msn, while only 25 percent of the Senioreb people use msn. For both target groups msn is dominantly used by women. But also a typical teenage habit is downloading music weekly or more often; only 25 percent of the seniors download music weekly or more often.

As far as I can see there is no remark in this report on games. I personally do believe that games for seniors should be the replacement for the puzzles and sudoku to keep their mind agile. But I should perhaps ask the people of Seniorweb about this.

The Dutch organisation Seniorweb has 75.000 members and offers anyone senior not familiar with a computer the experience of e-mail, internet, but also a text processing program. Besides the organisation has a special helpdesk for seniors for problems with their PC; if it can not be solved by e-mail or telephone, help will come from a volunteer. The organisation offers also software, games and printer cartridges at a reduced price, while the membership magazine contains once per year a CD-ROM full of tips, games and software. The organisation is a real e-inclusive organisation.

The report is not online yet, nor is there a translation. There is however a report of 2006 with an English summary.




Blog Posting Number: 743

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1 comment:

hoong said...

I am curious to know if previous employments have anything to do with the use of internet for senior.

I find myself using internet less and less, while increasingly I am interested in outdoor and physical activities. I am 56 and worked in the high tech area since late 70s from low ranking job (data-entry) till technical trainer, technical support engineer, training manger etc. etc. I am using internet for the usual emails, research, forums etc. One can say I am using the internet as a tool, more than as 'companion' or social-networking support.

And my new venture. I signed up with our wijktuin this morning. For the next few months will learn how to grow vegetables with other seniors in my neighbourhood. So will be bees and soils and worms ...