Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Study Reveals Surge in Silver Surfers

Study Reveals Surge in Silver Surfers

The past two years has seen a dramatic rise in older people's use of the internet, Hitwise reveals. So move over kids, and make way for the new breed of silver surfers.

Poole, UK (PRWEB) July 1, 2007

Recent findings by the research company Hitwise, www. castlecover. co. uk, show that more and more baby boomers are plugged in and surfing the web.

Since its inception, the internet has completely altered communication channels for users around the world. Whether it be to shop for goods, access bank accounts, purchase travel tickets or hunt for antiques, the online experience has widened accessibility to make all our lives easier. Friends and family are also just a fingertip away, as email has transformed the way people stay in contact and keep those relationships going.

However, it's not all savvy teenagers logging in to share the latest files and download trendy tunes to go on their ipods. One demographic enjoying the boom in internet use is the 'silver surfer' generation, the over 55s taking full advantage of a new lease of life.

According to the research company Hitwise, people aged 55 and over (http://www. castlecover. co. uk) are young at heart when it comes to surfing the web and are soon to take over from 35 to 44-year-olds as the biggest group online. In the four weeks leading up to May 12th this year, 22 per cent of visits to websites in the UK came from the so-called older generation.

This marks a huge shift in the silver surfer uptake, a 54 per cent rise since 2005 and up further from 2006. Proving that the internet is accessible to all, both those considered to be poor and those with greater affluence have enjoyed more time on the medium. The online presence from poorer pensioners has risen 29 per cent, while people with a little more cash to spend have also embraced the internet, with use among them up by 30 per cent in the last two years.

So why the change? The reasons are numerous. Silver surfers are enjoying accessing news and information via the web, making sure to stay connected with the modern world, a world that moves at a fast pace. Moreover, with time to spare, leisure activities can be sourced quickly and at a cheaper cost on the web and over 55s (http://www. castlecover. co. uk) recognise this and are visiting more travel sites than any other age group. Vice president of research at Hitwise UK Heather Hopkins stated that search engines and classified sites are also popular.

Speaking earlier in the year, Linda Martin from Cambridgeshire Libraries noted the increased take up. "For older people, computers hold huge benefits. From contacting old friends and finding ancestors, to booking holidays and even getting your shopping delivered," she told the Cambridge Evening News. Rodney Vincent from Stuntney is 80 and has fully maximised his IT potential, carrying the baton for the switched on older web user, the paper reports.

With all this increased computer use, online fans are naturally more at risk from potential computer failure. As such a vital aspect of life, it would be unthinkable almost for the internet to be taken away. Consumers may benefit from taking out home insurance (http://www. castlecover. co. uk/homeinsurance. asp) to make sure the damage from potential failure or theft is minimised. Household goods can be protected against if sufficient provisions are made against possible breakage.

It looks as if the future is bright for a generation willing to adapt to technological changes and strive towards a time when communication with family and loved ones is never too far away.