Everyone loves a bargain, that’s why some high street stores will be opening their doors at 5am on Boxing Day to take full advantage of people looking for big discounts. But is it really one of the only reasons elderly people choose to get connected and signed up to an Internet Service Provider (ISP)? It certainly appears that way.
An internet holiday company, www.sunshine.co.uk, commissioned a survey among OAP’s. They were asked how they book their holidays and 36% answered the only reason they have got the internet in their homes was to do so. The elderly people explained that it saved them the hassle of going to a high street travel agent, sitting for ages while an average deal is found and they could gather all the information themselves rather than being confused by lots of forms.
62% are now booking their holidays online, while 74% taught themselves how to do this rather than relying on others. 36% use the internet to save money on holidays, 24% see it as hassle free, 17% like the fact they can do it from their own home and 13% feel less pressurised as they are not sitting with a travel agent trying to make a sale.
The digital divide is continuing, it may not be widening but it is definitely deepening – as the connected get more experienced, and the non-connected get less confident and able to get online. It has to be seen in a positive like that many elderly people are noticing the benefits of having the internet in their home, and the value of being connected, even if it is to just get a bargain.
But if that really is the only reason they have signed up to an ISP contract, and they are not taking full advantage of the world wide web in other areas then the point of them being connected is really being missed.