6 Perceptions a Senior Citizen Has of the Internet. Death of the Pre-Internet Generation.


Whenever I see an older Senior Citizen I wonder how much of the internet they have decided to embrace. The percentage of Seniors who have no internet experience is declining. Before, in the early 2000s I wasn’t surprised how many older people chose not to use the internet. They argued that they didn’t want to give up their privacy. I felt they were making a mistake not to use the internet, but I understand that they spent most of their lives without it.

Now, 10 years later, I am more surprised how many don’t use the internet still. We have had internet service for at least 20 years now. Yet there still are older people who choose not to use it. I met a man in his 70s recently who refuses to use the internet. This was a man who went to Vietnam in 1968 at age 23. He is a younger Senior but says that the internet is too much trouble to mess around with. He seems a little crazy to me, but he does represent a dying group of people.

1. Trust

A lot of older people don’t trust the information on the internet. They don’t want to be lied to. Many who do use the internet, choose to go to the trusted sources, like Yahoo, CNN, or New York Times. They have grown up with these trusted and familiar sources and prefer them over questionable sources.

The more loosely-based news websites are a lot of trouble. Places like Reddit, Gawker, BoingBoing, and others write questionable and opinionated content. Also, they don’t cover the important news stories, they cover more the news stories that are not as mainstream.

2. Fragile Hardware

Older people believe that computers can still break easily and also use a lot of power. They are extra careful with their computers. Part of the reason for being careful could be that they don’t trust their own dexterity as much. Power is a big concern to them and they will go through the process of following the proper procedures for shutting down their computers. I know a 90 year man who insists on closing the cover of his laptop every time he is done using it.

3. Too Much Power

The older people are astounding at how easy it is to get onto the internet these days. Wireless technology has come a long way for humans. We can simply turn on a computer and access an extremely wide and diverse amount of information. Sometimes not knowing can be best for the soul.

4. Another Reading Source

Most Seniors, who choose to use the internet, seem to prefer reading on it. Videos are more for the TV still. I don’t believe many older people use Youtube much at all. Besides that, the Youtube website is only 8 years old anyway. There is no filter on Youtube and Seniors don’t have the time to sort through what is interesting to them or not. They may search for something they want to watch, but the search results give them unexpected and irrelevant content.

5. Socializing

Most older people prefer to use the email instead of Facebook, Twitter, Whisper, Omegle or any other communication software. The seniors can better relate to email because they relied on regular mail before that. Anything that goes beyond email can take a lot of effort to learn about and is too much trouble for them. Besides that, they don’t spend quite so much time on the internet anyway.

6. Time

How much time on the internet will determine how diverse and knowledgeable you are with using all the unique websites and such. A Senior Citizen never spent any time on the internet for their first 50 years of their lives. To expect them to devote half their day on the internet, like kids do now is asking a lot. In fact, many Seniors percieve the internet as more of a youth lifestyle anyway.

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Twitter: @Acumagnet

Paypal: eauclaire101@yahoo.com

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