Let's Go Log On!
is a Principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof
against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in
ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert
you a senior adult interested in learning to use the computer, or do you
have older relatives or friends who could benefit from becoming computer
More and more services targeting
seniors are moving to the Internet, including investment and retirement
planning, Social Security and Medicare information and even the IRS.
New research shows that those older than 65 now constitute the fastest-growing group of American Internet users.
On a typical day, 69 percent of wired seniors use the Internet, compared with 56 percent of all users, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. And seniors use e-mail as much as any other age group, according to the Department of Commerce.
Their numbers are forecast to more than triple over the next five years, according to a study by research firm International Data Corp. Their ranks are soon expected to reach over 34 million strong and account for 20 percent of all new Internet users.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, adults 55 years and older represent 54 million people, 20% of the total U.S. population and nearly one-third of the population 20 years and older.
Senior Americans also have financial clout. According to the American Banking Association, older adults own 77 percent of the country's financial assets and have $1.6 trillion in spending power.
Senior adults are also online - in fact, according to a recent Media Metrix report, the 55 years and older segment is the fastest growing Internet demographic group.
The Media Metrix Report shows that older adults (55+ years) now comprise 13 percent of total online users - outpacing 13- to 17 year olds who trail at 7.6 percent. The report also shows that the older online audience surf the Internet more frequently, stay there longer, and check out more Internet pages than even their teenage counterparts, thereby contradicting the widely held belief that seniors are technology laggards.
The Internet offers rapid access to information necessary to make informed decisions in today's complex world. Despite dramatic growth of computer usage among seniors, barriers to computer adoption remain.
Seniors in general, according
to Microsoft, recognize the benefits of computers in the areas of employability
and socialization. Non-users, however, cite high levels of intimidation
and lack of understanding of how a computer and the Internet can benefit
them. Many seniors clam they have no need for computers.
Seniors who do use computers
say one of their their primary reason is because of work related/income producing activities.
Contrary to popular belief, seniors' desire for continued employability
is far higher than expected. Today, computer literacy is, quite simply,
valued by employers and is essential to finding employment.
A recent survey done by SeniorNet.Org showed that while keeping in touch with family and friends remains seniors' top reason for using the Internet at 93 percent, making electronic purchases is becoming an increasingly popular use. In fact, 45 percent of those surveyed report online-purchasing as their third most common activity.
Other benefits include,
socialization, access to information on the Internet, making a contribution
and feeling needed. Increasing ease of use is opening the door for
many seniors who are surprised at just how simple it really is. Moreover,
PC prices have dropped well below $750.00.
Microsoft's analysis concludes
that there is a significant opportunity for community-based organizations,
libraries and community colleges to create computer curricula for seniors
in a nurturing environment tailored to their needs.
Anyone interested in beginning
to use computers should check out training resources available in their
community. For a nationwide list of computer learning centers for
seniors, Click Here...
Beyond hands-on training
there are a number of publications geared to introducing seniors to computers.
Here is a sampling:
Continued Next Page...
Seniors Aging Well, Wisely and Successfully
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