Common Technology Usage Between the Older People

Topics: Old age, Middle age, Gerontology Pages: 7 (1808 words) Published: February 19, 2008

2)Common Technology Usage Between the Older People
The rapid increase in the digital gap is something which is not new and a proof to this can be clearly seen from the following statistics. However, when it comes to using technology, the older generation has never been so keen to use it. One of the main reasons could be the "complex" nature of the new inventions by man, never the less it is some thing which the older generation has some what been forced to adapt.

The commonly used technology amongst old people.
Radios, hand phones and televisions are quite popular within this age group; this is perhaps, largely because it is both a necessity and a luxury to them at the same time. Radio and television, however, are not new inventions and therefore it can be assumed that this technology is more popular amongst the older generation. As far as the new changes in the operation systems to this technology is concerned, old people are least bothered about it (manual radios are preferred to the digital ones, mainly because of its simplicity). Newer hand phones, although very complex to use, have become a necessity for anyone anywhere, this is something which the older generation has to forcefully adapt(most of them only know how to attend a call and dial numbers with least knowledge about the various fancy functions their cell phones can perform e.g. infra-red, blue-tooth, music, camera etc.)

It can be said that illiteracy and the rapidly developing technology are two main reasons of the digital divide. Besides this, the cost of affording such gadgets can also be one of the main factors besides the aforementioned. 3)Comparison Between the Educated and Uneducated Elderly

When it comes to technology, there might be a difference on the adoption of the technology between the educated old people and the uneducated old people. For the educated old people, they do not have big problems when it comes to learning of new technologies such as computer, internet, handphones, digital cameras and/or other devices. There are a few reasons why they are able to keep themselves up to date with these technologies. For example, work requirement, technologies play a big part in their communication with external parties. This group is mainly from the Professionals, Managers, Executives and Businessmen (PMEBs). Another example is their interest in technologies, as reading is not a problem for them; they can easily read up and understand the usages. Therefore, for them, being able to use a high technology item can also be a new form of entertainment. Age60 - 70 yrs old71 - 80 yrs old≥81 yrs old

Television 20%
None 10%
Table XXX
However, looking at the uneducated or less-educated old people, the first and most important problem is illiteracy. Having difficulties in understanding the functions make them less interested to find out more about it. For instance, table XXX shows that older people do not own many types of technologies. At least 4 out of 10 of the older people own only a handphone, and the key usage is for talking.

If we were to compare the two groups on the adoption of technology, it is obvious that the educated old people can easily get hold of the technology usage based on their own effort. On the other hand, the uneducated or less educated old people will have to rely on others to teach them on the usage. Nevertheless, either way, both groups are still able to experience and explore the advantages of technology. 4)Ethnicity, Age and Gender Differences

From the survey results and our personal observations, there is no effect showing that ethnicity has influenced the reason people use technology. However, the team has discussed and analyzed that ethnicity may play as a factor if we are evaluating the affordability of different ethnic groups when buying technology.

Taken from ‘Sing Stats' website,...
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