Seen but not heard
Over half (56%) of the UK’s over 65s feel silenced and ignored, according to a new survey by Nominet Trust, with over a third (43%) of British pensioners unable to recall the last time someone even asked their opinion.
With the majority (70%) finding TV programmes and traditional media aimed increasingly at younger people, the study released on the 10th anniversary of Silver Surfers Day suggests over 65’s are turning to the web to stay abreast of current affairs:
- Almost half (46%) regularly use Facebook or Twitter
- Two thirds (69%) regularly click online to keep up-to-date with topical issues such as super-injunctions1 and ageism2 rows
- Over half (57%) wish there were more internet forums for older people to express their views
With this in mind, Nominet Trust is now calling upon the nation to help give the UK’s silver generation a voice online. Having funded hundreds of innovative internet access projects since its conception in 2008, a Nominet Trust judging panel will choose the most innovative idea submitted by the public and its creator will be invited to work with digital experts to make it a reality with £20,000 worth of funding and support.
To highlight the positive impact web access projects can have for ‘silenced’ groups such as the retired population , Nominet Trust is also launching GreyMatters - a dedicated blog channel run exclusively by older people with the aim of creating a bespoke forum for this generation to engage with the modern world.
Annika Small, Director of Nominet Trust, said:
“It’s the nation that needs a hearing aid, not our pensioners! We have a terrible attitude to older people in this country. We need to listen more and recognise that the retired are tech-savvy with a lot to say and a significant contribution to make to our society.
Our study shows that more pensioners fire off emails on a weekly basis (70%) than pen letters (17%) and many older people are using the Internet to start businesses, to run voluntary groups, to engage with their local communities and yet we continue to marginalise this important and growing segment of our society. We’re looking forward to working with a member of the public to make this silenced generation heard online.
In addition, we hope our GreyMatters channel will highlight the personalities out there that are eager to express their thoughts and views. Discussing news and politics is of course high on the agenda but our older generation is also well aware of the fun to be had online.
The Internet is unique in the fact that people can connect with anyone, anywhere, at any time and when asked, three quarters (75%) of the UK’s pensioners would use Twitter to give celebrities a piece of their mind with David Cameron and Wayne Rooney top of the list.”
- London pensioners most likely to use emails on a weekly basis (91%)
- Pensioners in Yorkshire are the least likely to be asked their opinion (63%) followed closely by Welsh pensioners (62%)
- Older people in the South East are most likely to feel their voice has been silenced (67%)
- North West OAPs find it the hardest to get their opinions heard (84%)
- Pensioners in the North East would most like to flirt with Simon Cowell via Twitter (15%)
- Wales has the most Facebook users over 65 years old (54%)
- Scotland has the most pensioners eager to learn to use Twitter (17%)
Top celebrities that pensioners would like to give a piece of their mind:
- 18% David Cameron
- 14% Wayne Rooney
- 10% Katie Price
- 7% Nick Clegg
- 4% Jeremy Clarkson
Top celebrities pensioners would like to flirt with:
- 19% Cheryl Cole
- 12% Holly Willoughby
- 3% Barbara Windsor
- 8% Philip Schofield
- 6% Simon Cowell
- 4% Piers Morgan
Top internet uses for the older generation:
- Contacting friends and family
- Keeping up-to-date with current affairs
- Paying bills
- Exploring new ideas
- Playing games
Super-injunctions – Twice as many older women than men believe people should be entitled to a private life (43% compared with 19%)
Ageism rows – Older men are twice as likely to think aging presenters should be replaced by younger models (16% compared with 8%)
1 One third (33%) feel that people should be entitled to a private life, no matter who they are, with 42% seeing celebrities as ‘fair game’
2 One in ten agrees that older presenters should be replaced by younger ones on TV
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- Nominet Trust commissioned 72Point to administer a survey exploring how older 65’s view their voice in today’s society and determine the prevalence of internet use and functions of use among the same age-group.
- The respondents were based in the following regions: East Anglia (9.54%), East Midlands (2.83%), London (15.90%), North East (4.59%), North West (15.55%), Northern Ireland (1.06%), Scotland (4.95%), South East (8.48%), South West (10.95%), Wales (4.59%), West Midlands (13.07%), Yorkshire and the Humber (8.48%).
About the Nominet Trust
- The Nominet Trust is a UK registered charity, passionate about the power of the Internet to improve lives and communities and designed to provide support to organisations and projects working to increase access to the internet, online safety and education and web in society - imaginative applications of the Internet to address specific social problems.
- The Nominet Trust has supported more than 150 projects since its inception in September 2008, with a total investment of more than £6 million and is an engaged partner, providing business support as well as financial investment, seeking to connect projects to prospective partners who may help increase their reach and impact.
- The Nominet Trust was founded in 2008 by Nominet, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for the smooth and secure running of the .uk internet infrastructure. Nominet has a strong public purpose and its Trust is one example of its commitment to creating a safer, accessible and diverse internet.