Friday, January 28, 2011

Older Adults/ Seniors and Technology Stereotype (Research, Video 2:58)

What percentage of adults over age 65 use the Internet? If you’re like most people, you may have bought into the stereotype that the percentage is very low. Actually, 42% of adults over age 65 use the Internet. This statistic has increased 11% over the past year and continues to grow.

What are they doing on the Internet? Young people might say they are looking for sales on walkers or Viagra sources. They could be right, but older adults are looking for so much more and finding it. I personally know an older adult who has found love on the Internet twice at a matchmaking website. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology report that older adults’ positive attitudes about technology outnumber their negative attitudes. They believe that positive attitudes support many activities that older adults find convenient and useful.

Is there anything older adults don’t like about the Internet? Like many of all ages, they worry about Internet security. With all the hacking and scamming that target older adults, they should be concerned. They dislike some of the inconvenience and unreliability that holds hands with technology sometimes. But they mostly like the benefits they get from the technology experience such as Internet browsing, learning new information, social networking with family and friends, and even planning trips on their own.

Put the technology stereotype to rest. There’s a big world out there in cyberspace. Education can encourage even more older adults to explore the many wonders technology has to offer. If you're a senior who wants to learn more about traveling in cyberspace, contact your local Area Agency on Aging, a senior center, or your public library for information on where you can attend classes. Have a great trip!

At the age of 91, Naomi Long Madgett, Poet Laureate of Detroit, MI, enjoys using technology. Her good choices with the "new stuff" enhance her quality of life. You can read more about Naomi and iPad research with older adults here:

Frances Shani Parker, Author

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