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Only One in Six Older People Embrace Social Networking

Only One in Six Older People Embrace Social Networking

Picture: Figures connected with lines 

Only one in six people aged 55plus have used a social networking service like Facebook‚ Skype‚ Twitter or Youtube says a poll commissioned by Age Concern‚ and now the charity is encouraging the other five to give it a go.

Previous Age Concern research found two thirds of ‘silver surfers’ reported getting online has improved their lives.
Age Concern’s myfriends online week supported by BT runs March 16 to March 20 and is a chance for older people to learn about online social networking. Free taster sessions will be held at events throughout the UK during myfriends online week.

One person who’s already an old hand at Facebook is Ivy Bean of Leeds. At 103 years young‚ Ivy is the world’s oldest Facebook user and currently has 4‚554 friends. “I love getting online and receiving messages from people all over the world!” says Ivy. Another older person who’s embraced getting online is 81 year old Peter Oakley‚ better known to a legion of fans on YouTube as Geriatric1927.

Peter has more than 49‚000 subscribers to his video blogs and his channel has been viewed over 2.3 million times. Peter says he sees YouTube as a way for older generations to reach younger generations. “YouTube is a platform where I can demonstrate that the elderly have a role in society and possibly influence a better understanding between the generations“‚ says Peter.

Leonie Vlachos‚ Age Concern England Digital Inclusion Manager‚ said: “The stereotype is that older people don’t use social networking tools online‚ but we find with support and training many older people embrace the technology and use it to stay in touch with friends and family‚ as well as meeting new people”.

Minister for Digital Inclusion Paul Murphy said: “New technology can often seem scary to many older people or is something they would rather ignore. Myfriends online week is a great way of discovering how to keep in touch with your family and friends easily and cheaply.

"As a 'Silver Surfer' myself‚ I welcome Age Concern’s work to ensure that older people can access and explore the internet in such a friendly and supportive environment."; Source: Age Concern

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