Closing the digital generation gap

  • News
  • 03/10/2016
  • BIK team

Saturday, 1 October 2016 was the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. This annual day of celebration encourages us all to reflect on the role of older persons in making wide-ranging contributions to economic and social development, along with the challenges older persons may encounter such as discrimination and social exclusion. Here on the Better internet for Kids (BIK) portal, we use the occasion as an opportunity to reflect upon the challenges older persons may encounter in the digital age.

Research shows that 53 per cent of the older population in the European Union has never used the internet, and only 23 per cent access services online. In an era where public services are increasingly designed to be digital by default, equipping older persons with the necessary digital skills to access them is essential.
 
Older people may lack the skills or even the interest in learning digital skills – that is when connecting with young people could be the answer. We invited our Youth Ambassador, João Pedro, to share his thoughts about this topic:
 
"Older people are true sources of wisdom. We should dedicate some of our time to listen to their experiences, while helping them with the transition to this digital era. They have so much to benefit with the use of new technologies and we, as digital natives, are the best equipped to guide them. For instance, establishing communication with family members via Skype can tackle loneliness problems that many sadly face nowadays. This can be the first step for their interest in the digital world to grow."
 
João Pedro, 19, Portugal
 
Let's ensure every European is digital, and age is not an impediment!

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