Over 65s flock to Google Maps and WhatsApp but there's a household essential they can't cope with, survey reveals | The Sun

THE older generation is comfortable using Google Maps and WhatsApp – but won't set up their smart TV or talk to artificial intelligence (AI), a survey has revealed.

A poll of 1,000 people aged 65 and over found the top tech tasks people are – and aren't – willing to do.

Firing off a WhatsApp is something 64 per cent feel comfortable with – but only 12 per cent would be confident navigating TikTok.

Not being shown how to use something (40 per cent) and finding new tech complicated and overwhelming (29 per cent) are the major factors holding this age group back.

And nearly a fifth (19 per cent) would be more inclined to build their confidence with digital technology if they had someone show them how to use it.

Victoria Johnson, spokesperson at BT Group, which is aiming to get thousands of older people clued up on technology, said: "Technology can open so many doors.


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“At BT Group we’re working with UK charity AbilityNet to deliver more than 1,000 group and one-to-one training sessions to those who need it most in regions across the UK.

“Technology is no longer a take-it-or-leave it proposition, it is a fundamental part of life and older people should not be left behind.”

The research supported the argument older people tend to struggle with digital technology, as just 13 per cent rated their ability as ‘very good’.

And only one in 20 strongly agree they try and stay up to date with the latest digital technology trends and advancements.

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More than half (52 per cent) would ask their kids for help if they needed assistance with something, while five per cent would just give up.

However, 91 per cent regularly use a mobile phone, and 56 per cent of over-65s are users of a tablet.

On average, older adults spend 20 hours a week online, or a little under three hours per day.

Although nearly a tenth (eight per cent) are online for under five hours weekly, according to the OnePoll.com data.

Facebook (65 per cent) is the overwhelming social media platform of choice for the older generation – with YouTube (34 per cent) and Instagram (16 per cent) dwindling in comparison.

Only two per cent of over 65s are Snapchat users.

And more than half (57 per cent) say they would like to be better at using and understanding digital technology.

Victoria Johnson added: “For younger people – especially those in the Gen Z demographic, or younger still – tech has been a part of their lives forever.

“Many will have grown up with the internet, smartphones and streaming services from the day they were born.

“These are huge digital advances that people born decades earlier will have to make big adjustments to, so it’s no wonder there are still gaps in their knowledge.

“Our new Senior Skills programme aims to help close this gap and get the older and digitally excluded generation feeling more tech savvy.”

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Sarah Brain, spokesperson at AbilityNet, said: “This research continues to show the need for support for digital skills for the older generation to ensure they feel equipped and confident to manage their day-to-day lives and stay connected to the outside world.

“We’re thrilled to be supported by BT Group to deliver this digital skills training and help bridge the divide.”

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