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Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Almost two thirds of over 65s say they couldn’t live without the net

Spring Online logo This week is Spring Online week, a national campaign run by Digital Unite designed to encourage and support individuals and organisations to run free taster sessions to introduce older people and less confident users to digital technology. Hundreds of Spring Online events will be held at libraries, schools, housing schemes, UK online centres, cafés and community groups across the country. Over the course of the next few days, we’ll also be publishing blogs from users who have discovered the Internet later in life and organisations looking to support the cause of digital exclusion. Here we take a look at how the older generation are taking to the Internet ... We were really pleased to discover from research we recently commissioned that the over 65s are truly embracing the Internet - 84% of Internet users over 65 use the net to source deals, showing it’s not just the younger generation shopping online. More specifically 52% of over 65s use the net to search for deals and buy electrical equipment; 50% use the net to search for deals and buy holidays and 47% use the net to search for deals and buy financial services, such as bank accounts and insurance. Plusnet’s research also reveals that the Internet has become an indispensable part of life for the over 65s, with 63% saying they could not live without being online and three quarters saying the Internet keeps them feeling young and mentally agile. With this in mind it’s perhaps no surprise that 41% of older Brits use Facebook, and nearly a third of these are over 75. After all, it was TV legend Sir Bruce Forsyth, aged 85, who said in a recent interview, that "My wife and my iPad keep me young!" But although over 65s are getting increasingly savvy, research from Digital Unite shows that there is still a way to go as there are 6.5million people in the UK over the age of 55 who have never used the Internet. Of those who still haven’t made it online, 41% say this is because there is not enough training and that they don’t understand how it works, while 37% cite cost as their reason for not signing up. Jamie Ford, Plusnet's CEO commented:

“It is really encouraging to see that so many over 65s are getting online and really making the most out of the Internet. There is no reason for anyone to feel their age means they can’t get the best out of what technology has to offer.”

Have you taught a friend or relative in their twilight years how to use the Internet?  How did you find it? What were the biggest hurdles they had to overcome as a new learner?  Let us know by leaving a comment here ...

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