Many seniors still struggle with technology

Although many U.S. seniors are adept with the new technology, as a whole they have been slower adopters. A new report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project has explained this apparent paradox.

The report, Older Adults and Technology Use, says there are two different groups of seniors:

“The first group (which leans toward younger, more highly educated, or more affluent seniors) has relatively substantial technology assets, and also has a positive view toward the benefits of online platforms. The other (which tends to be older and less affluent, often with significant challenges with health or disability) is largely disconnected from the world of digital tools and services, both physically and psychologically.”

Where 86 percent of adults use the Internet, just 59 percent of seniors do, and only half use broadband. Even with the ubiquitous cell phone, just 77 percent of seniors use them, compared to 91 percent of the general population.

In short:

“... many seniors remain largely unattached from online and mobile life – 41 percent do not use the internet at all, 53 percent do not have broadband access at home, and 23 percent do not use cell phones.”

Clearly this remains an area which requires intervention by all sectors: government, nonprofits, schools and industry.

Older Adults and Technology Use (Pew Research Center, April, 2014)

Older Adults and Technology Use
(Benton.org, Apr. 3, 2014)