Friday, June 6, 2008

Another sign of an aging population

While not every senior citizen I know is technology-challenged, here's more evidence that would seem to support older Americans are behind the times.
While many people check their Blackberrys seemingly every five minutes for new emails, roughly one-fifth of all U.S. heads-of-household have never sent or used an e-mail. According to National Technology Scan, a forthcoming study from Parks Associates, 20 million U.S. households are still without Internet access and approximately 18% of all households don’t use email.
The research indicates that 21% of heads of households have never sent or received an email and another 21 percent were found to have never looked up a website or browsed for information online. “Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document,” said John Barrett, director, research, Parks Associates. “These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, uses a computer.”
Age and education are factors in this divide. One-half of those who have never used e-mail are over 65, and 56 percent had no schooling beyond high school.
The survey also found just seven percent of the 20 million “disconnected” homes plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months. Still, the study reports a steady decline in the number of disconnected households when comparing findings with previous years. National Technology Scan reported at year-end 2006 that 29% of all U.S. households (31 million homes) did not have Internet access, citing low perceived value of the Internet.

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