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Older people more active online, but still need help

Older Finns are increasingly active online, according to a new survey. One in three people over the age of 75 regularly surfs the net. In 2011, the figure was just one in five.

Iäkäs nainen käyttää tietokonetta kotonaan.
A new survey showed surprisingly high levels of internet usage among elderly Finns. Image: Jussi Helttunen / Lehtikuva

A survey conducted by TNS Gallup for two projects aimed at expanding internet literacy in Finland found an expansion of internet usage in elderly Finnish people. The survey showed a willingness among the elderly to get online, as ever more services are provided through virtual portals.

Many survey respondents said they would prefer to have more guidance online and easier-to-use devices.

Some 600 older people were interviewed for the survey, which found that one in three older people used the internet.

The most enthusiastic group in the survey was 75-79-year-old men, who were in leadership positions during their working careers. 85-89-year-old women were the least enthusiastic ‘silver surfers’. Some 290,000 people do not use the internet regularly and can therefore be said to be at risk of marginalisation.

There is still work to do in alerting them to the need for internet skills. Just four percent of respondents owned a smartphone, and three percent had a tablet computer.

"Of the old people who do not already use the internet, 89 percent do not think they even need to," said Marika Nordlund, project manager at the KÄKÄTE online literacy project, in a press release.

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