The generational digital divide climbs to age 80

Submitted by rruggia on Wed, 02/24/2021 - 16:55

December 2, 2020 - 14:00

Older people are more and more at home in the digital world. At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, many seniors relied on WhatsApp messaging or video calls to overcome loneliness. A recent study shows that internet use among pensioners in Switzerland has almost doubled over the past decade and allowed many to stay in touch during the pandemic.

“Digital services are very popular with the over-65s,” writes Swiss advocacy organisation for older people, Pro Senectute. “In their use of communication technologies, young retirees are managing to compete with the younger generations.” Things change at a later stage in life: the real digital divide now starts at around age 80.

According to the findings of the Digital Senior 2020External link study, commissioned by Pro Senectute and carried out by Center of Gerontology at the University of Zurich, 74% of people aged 65 and above use the internet. This represents a real jump from 38% in 2009, when the first survey was carried out. The study also shows that since the second survey, held in 2014, mobile web use (via smartphones or tablets) in this age group has surged from 31% to 68%.


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