Digital exclusion – how often are the elderly exposed to it and why is it such a serious problem (part 2)

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In the report of the Central Statistical Office on the quality of life of older people in Poland, published in February 2021, but containing data for 2018 (i.e. before the pandemic), we read: “The results of the 2018 Social Cohesion Survey show that only 30% of older people (aged 65 and older) used the Internet in the 3 months preceding the survey. By comparison, the corresponding percentage for the entire survey population (those aged 16 and over) was about 76%.” The 70% not using the Internet in the quarter preceding the survey is a very large portion of the older generation. The fact that the above percentages differ so much from those for younger generations indicates the space for potential communication difficulties between generations.

In a network of generational distances

Dr. Rafal Bakalarczyk, an expert at the Senior Policy Institute, points out that while the young lead their lives to such a large extent in the digital world and the elderly in the analog world, there is a risk that their worlds will increasingly diverge, which is already happening to some extent. This is certainly a serious and multifaceted challenge. However, as more groups of people enter the autumn of life, the risk of total digital exclusion of seniors will be lower. In the next decades, the threshold of old age will be exceeded by generations who have been in contact with new information and communication technologies since childhood. However, it does not have to mean that the problem of digital exclusion of mature aged people will completely disappear. The development of new technologies is so dynamic that even those who are present in the digital world may not be able to keep up with the technological changes that are taking place to the extent that they can take advantage of them. This is also a serious challenge for today and in the future.

Thank you for reading to the end.


Read more: link to part 1

Read more: link to part 3