Britain is no country for old men without access to the web
Britain's 'Office for National Statistics' in its 'Internet Access Quarterly Update' has announced that :
* almost all, 99%, of those young people aged between 16 and 24 years of age have used the web. * only 33%, 1.5 million of those old men and women over 75 years of age have used the web. * the 3.2 million non-users over 75 year made up 45% of the 7.1 million people who had never used the Internet.
* Internet non-use was 28% for old men aged 65 to 74 years.
Access to the Internet has become part and parcel for life in Britain in the 21st century and like many old men I have been online for a number of years, but what of those millions of old men who have no access ? How are their lives diminished ? What don't they have and can't they do which the rest of us can ?
Number One : Methods of personal communication which could be the antedote to the loneliness and isolation which can blight lives , no :
* instant emails to family, friends and business. Instead, letter writing - expensive and time-consuming. * online chat, social networking and facetime.
Number Two : Easy professional communication,no :
* ordering repeat prescriptions from the doctor, online banking, submission of gas and electricity readings.
Number Three : Online shopping which could give access to the range of products which could save money and increase choice, no :
* access to Amazon or ebay and other electronic market places. Instead, arduous visits to local shops and for those in rural locations without a car, even greater difficulties.
* online booking for tickets for travel and entertainment.
Number Four : Instant access to information, no :
* access to news, web search to answer questions about, for example, local bus timetables, clubs and entertainment.
Number Five : Downloading software, no :
* access to free music, videos, movies and video games denying the opportunity to improve cognitive functions and improve eye-hand co-ordination.