Closing digital divides among seniors

26 April
Closing digital divides among seniors

There's been a recent study in the US that found a third of citizens over 65 still don't use the internet. The stats are quite similar to New Zealand. According to InternetNZ's market research, 83% of Kiwis over 60 have Internet access at home or work but there is still work to be done on closing digital divides.

Internet NZ chief executive Jordan Carter acknowledged it's important to broaden access and proficiency to technology for everyone, and that there were benefits and advantages of internet use no matter the age.

"There's a growing divide in what people can do it they're offline compared to what they're doing if they're online," Mr Carter said.

"Closing those digital divides is something we're interested in, it's something the government has set a target about as well."  

A market research study commissioned by Internet NZ found 83% of Kiwis over 60 years have internet access at home or work.

Mr Carter said a poll of Kiwis found over 80% thought the benefits outweighed the negatives, including cyberbullying and fake news.

"People should have the choice, no one should be trapped into using any particular kind of technology to live their lives," Mr Carter said.

"But I think given people follow the money if you like there's going to be more and more stuff online."

"I mean look at the announcement last week of moving the Rugby World Cup to an online type platform."

Mr Carter said an obvious benefit the internet provides for the elderly is breaking down the barriers of distance and keeping in touch with friends and family.

 

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