The Internet for All

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Computers for seniors

Seniors with computersI really don’t understand why so many older people these days don’t use computers or tablets.

Well, I do to some extent. I understand that a) they can not always afford the devices and b) that for some elderly people it might seem as though it’s a technology they will never be able to understand.

Are those two problems really too huge to be overcome?

Aren’t there so many advantages that would outweigh any inconveniences? Are there no official bodies who can deal with this problem?

And yes, it is a problem.

By the middle of the nineteen nineties,most of my mum’s family was living three thousand miles away. Living locally was one daughter, one sister and one niece. That’s all.

She had other family but they were a couple of hundred miles away- not as far admittedly, but not close enough to call in for a friendly cup of coffee and a chat either.

Just think how her life could have been improved if she had the internet. We offered to buy her a computer but she said that there was no-one who could show her how to use it.

It was true.Why wasn’t there some sort of service available? Just imagine, if she received regular emails and photographs from her family far and wide. And as a member of that far and wide family, it would have been wonderful for me to email my mum.

Of course, many older people do use the internet. I used to follow a lady in Twitter who was a hundred and one years old. But the majority of older people who use the internet were either people who started using computers in the eighties or nineties,or else they had someone to show them how to make the most of a tablet or laptop.

When I was a kid, the powers-that-be were encouraging British people to move to Australia and New Zealand to start new lives.Many did. And in those days, it was probably the last time granny would see them. To send a photograph, you’d have to take the film to be developed, wait for it to arrive, mail it to Australia and by the time granny saw it,it was at least three months old. Now we have the technology to be able to see photographs minutes after they have been taken –  anywhere in the world.

I would have loved my mum to have had that facility. A few years before she died, her son started a family. She met those children only a couple of times.Had there been some fort of service to supply her with a reasonable priced device,plus show her how to use it,she could have watched those children as they developed, even though they were thousands of miles away. There would have been a relationship.

Furthermore, they say that one of the best ways of keeping young is to keep the mind active. Older people could benefit so much from online life.

The less mobile they become, the more they will need mind-engaging activities that they can enjoy from their armchairs.

Computers and the internet have done – and will continue to do – a great deal for the world. Why isn’t that extended to the elderly?



Tim Berners Lee  is the inventor of the world wide web. When the London Olympics too place in 2012, the opening ceremony was a celebration of Britain and what it had achieved. At one point, as you can see in the video below, the camera panned onto an ordinary suburban house. Inside was Tim Berners Lee sitting at a vintage computer.

As he did so, LED lights in the stadium, referring to the world wide web, showed a slogan which was:

This is for everyone

Except our seniors, it seems.




Jackie Jackson, also known online as BritFlorida, is a highly experienced designer and writer. British born and now living in the USA, she specialises in lifestyle issues, design and quirky stories. You can see a wide range of articles here, or visit her website Tastes Magazine. See The Writer’s Door for more information.

Author: Jackie Jackson

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