This paper reports the results of two connected surveys of computer and Internet use among the older population in the UK. One hundred and twenty questionnaires and interviews were completed with participants aged over 55 in Derbyshire and 353 questionnaires and interviews with over 50s in Scotland. Rates of use, computer and Internet activities, and reasons for use and non-use were investigated. These were backed up by four semi-structured interviews with IT trainers, describing experiences and issues of training this age group. The results indicate a “grey” digital divide, with many older people missing out on the benefits that computers and the Internet can provide. They also indicate some of the reasons why older people do not use computers and the Internet more. These suggest some practical ways forward, highlighting the importance of changing older people’s misconceptions about computers, better informing them about what they are, what they can do and how they can be of real practical use.
Universal Access in the Information Society – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 18, 2006