Older Internet Users Catching On….Slowly

The World Wide Web was invented in 1989. People born that year are 33 today, and odds are they are pretty tech savvy. Someone who was 32 when the internet was invented turns 65 this year, and has most likely not been an early adapter of new technologies as they emerge. But as they years pass, older users are catching up.

Technology researcher Colleen McClain with Pew Research has been tracking trends of internet and technology adaptations by age group and says people over 65 have been jumping online at numbers not seen before. That said, one-in-four don’t know a domain name from a browser. “That’s still three-quarters of adults over 65 who are internet users, and that share of people 65 and older who are tech users have risen pretty dramatically over time,” McClain tells KTRH News.

Yay! Let’s hear it for the old geezers!

Especially adapting to smartphone usage, the people eligible for Social Security these days are sharply increasing, and it is in the percentage point difference that you see the narrowing of age variables. One in ten people regardless of age say they approach new technologies with some trepidation and 25% of all people say they need help setting up a new device. “And that is more likely to be the case for older adults, but still, there are shares that are confident vs. not, and we find there is plenty of variety in older adults tech experiences,” says McClain.

When British scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web and created the internet for use by the particle smashers at CERN, he was 34. He will turn 67 this year. So if people over the age of 65 are slow in adapting to the latest technology, it should be remembered that they invented it.

photo: Getty Images

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