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Elderly Swedes 'not interested' in using the internet: study

TT/The Local/dl · 30 Mar 2011, 08:54

Published: 30 Mar 2011 08:54 GMT+02:00

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The most common reason given in the survey, carried out by the Internet Infrastructure Foundation (Stiftelsen för internetinfrastruktur—.SE), is a lack of interest in taking a ride on the information superhighway.

Other, more concerning reasons for the lack of internet use among elderly Swedes include that it is too expensive or that people with visual or physical impairments find it too difficult.

Nearly 60 percent of over-50 Swedes who don't use the internet have low levels of education, and the majority are women, the study found.

Curt Persson, chair of the National Pensioners’ Organisation (Pensionärernas riksorganisation – PRO), believes increased costs as one of the biggest problems for older Swedes who can't or haven't learned how to use the internet.

"This is a big issue and it can be very costly if you can't use the internet," he told the TT news agency.

"It's not only that people are left out, but they also have to pay extra to conduct business with a bank, for example."

Persson explain that extra measures must be taking to help older Swedes keep up with changes in society.

"Society is changing. If you want a society that works and a number of services to be made easier, then citizens must also be able to use them and it has to be worth the effort," he said.

PRO arranges a number of study groups and courses on IT use and has received support for doing so from software company Microsoft.

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Persson suggested that, in the future, allowing pensioners to purchase computers at a discounted price would offer them new possibilities.

"If you now want to change society to one where internet communication is an option for everyone, you ought to perhaps think in terms that people did a few years ago when employees were got training and were offered subsidies to buy personal computers," he said.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:01 March 30, 2011 by Floridian in Sweden
Elderly.....over 50?......I must be going on ancient......
10:38 March 30, 2011 by Kevin Harris
The techies' definition of Hell; teach a class of pensioners how to open and use a Hotmail account.
10:40 March 30, 2011 by johnny1939
@Floridian... hehe me too. However, I try to interest my friends who do not use the net on how much fun they are missing and I think specialized education is needed for people of all ages that are nervous about it all. Once you get started w/ the little things the others will follow. I think the web is perfect for people that do not get out much in the winter and relieve a lot of depression among the "elderly" housebound. After having been told how to turn the machine on/off I taught myself through trial and error and if I can do it everybody can because I consider a toaster oven high tec. still have not conquered microwave but maybe am not interested in cooking.
12:07 March 30, 2011 by Swedesmith
Elderly over 50...who wrote this article? Wanna see an elderly guy kick your @ss!
12:24 March 30, 2011 by ChristerArt
I tried to post a comment here that the only thing that makes sense for the elderly is the iPad (with la a link to a 100 year old woman using one) but the Local won't let me post it. For some reason it is against the guide lines - seems very much like the article today about FaceBook censoring Björn Borgs page with the two nude guys.

In that article censorship is condemned - but it is alive and thriving here on the Local!
12:54 March 30, 2011 by karex

I think it probably has to do with you posting an advertisement for a company who hasn't paid to advertise in The Local... nothing about censorship, just common business sense.
15:54 March 30, 2011 by martiancat
tell them they can see their grandkids on skype more often than Xmas holidays and the PCs will be sold out, well with some exaggeration there. also elderly discounts? I want to see some geeky kid making a list of specs for his granny on his Bday gift... hehe
16:14 March 30, 2011 by ChristerArt
I did not offer "advertising" - I stated a fact that the iPad is exceedingly easy to use as compared to the windows system.

But the article mentions MICROSOFT - that's not advertising?

And tthat's OK?

Business sense? So Microsoft is supporting The Local with ads? And therefore the Local will kill any reference to a competitor like Apple?
19:13 March 30, 2011 by Decedo
Elderly...50? EEKKKK! I am way too close to elderly and too far from youthful I guess.

Actually my 75 yr old mother in Canada is at her computer almost everyday. She Facebooks, twitters and skypes. She also does all her banking online, and Canada isn't as advances as Sweden with on-line banking. My nephew even started a WoW character for her, but that bug didn't bite her...hehe.
21:25 March 30, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
I'm over 50. I hate computers but since I was diagnosed with MS four years ago and had to give up my job, I've 'learnt to love them' at least a little.

Always used them when I headed up my old department - but WHENEVER the damn things went on the blink, I always felt guilty that it was only the lowest-graded, lowest-paid person in the building who could sort them out. LOL

Know a little more about them now, but to be able to purchase a 'discounted computer' on proving that I am an 'over-50s oldie' would be welcome!
03:59 March 31, 2011 by sigfus45
Well up in age am I, and long tired of commercial interests inundating the internet and social organiszations wantingr to flog their sef seving products, Socialy responsible persons organizing or joining many an organizing have seen the greedy takeover of local clubs and organizations that had a purpose towards social responsibility by insurance floggers and banks wanting a list of potential suckers. Fold your doors to these commercialists wanting to take personal advantage of your good intentions.
06:55 March 31, 2011 by Douglas Garner
It shouldn't be that difficult to salvage a zillion xp computers, set up in large font size, and set up a special browser with a simple outlook express account and link to internet banking... perhaps the banks could lead this project. Someone would still need to pay for the internet axcess, but it would be an interesting project.

On the other hand, my mom was a computer systems analyst but never did embrace the PC in her later years. Change can be difficult. I, on the other hand, am 59 and spend my evenings with the laptop in my lap and the remote control by my side.
08:16 March 31, 2011 by zerotolerancenow
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
08:21 March 31, 2011 by mikewhite
"Swedes over 50 considered elderly" - The Local

That's a good headline.
08:23 March 31, 2011 by Marc the Texan
I really don't see why it's so important to get everyone on the internet. I make my living online, but I still see that there are some people who really do not have any use for it while still living rich and interesting life. More subsidies for computers? Computers are cheaper than ever and continue to get cheaper all the time. Much cheaper than even 5 years ago. Computers and electronics have fallen in price faster than any other products in a trend that spans decades. What an incredible way to misallocate taxpayer money.
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