The 'grey digital divide': Perception, exclusion and barriers of access to the Internet for older people

Peter Millward


Focussing upon the elderly, this article utilises data discovered as researcher for Age Concern in Wigan (U.K.) and examines the feelings of older people toward the Internet. It explores the reasons why some clients and volunteers choose to use the Internet, whilst others do not, relating these perspectives to the organisations, alongside broader national (U.K.) and EU, commitments to reduce the digital divide. The article argues that for the elderly Internet usability is based upon more than availability of technology. Instead a lack of Web skills among the elderly leads to an opinion that information and communication technologies are for the young, leading to a long-term damage lack of interest in using the Internet.

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