Pros and Cons of Internet Use in the Older Population

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Using the internet can be such a positive, educative experience, especially for older adults who don’t know much about the internet to begin with. But of course, there can be negatives involved with the use of the internet. Some of these negatives include cost, awareness, lack of confidence, lack of suitably designed equipment, outdated equipment, and also inappropriate training methods. Cost can be a huge barrier for older adults who could already be having financial trouble due to low incomes or even the costs of more important needs such as treatment, medication, and mobility aids. The cost of equipment needed for using the internet can be detrimental to a budget lifestyle due to the price tags on things like a modem, internet usage and a computer. This coincides with lack of awareness about internet and related products. Older adults may not know about internet cafes or access to wireless internet in certain locations, or even “cheap” internet providers and second hand or rented computers, which can all help save money. Lack of awareness also refers to an older adult being unable to see any potential benefits from using the internet and what the internet can offer them. This leads to lack of enthusiasm to even try using the internet and possibly even adding to the lack of confidence already present. With all the media focusing on only certain parts of internet, older adults feel it may be too difficult and may also fear new technology. To add to all these barriers is the lack of suitable equipment for older adults. Older adults are likely to have physical disabilities or symptoms caused by a medication or disease that make using a computer difficult. These can include poor eyesight which makes it difficult to see the screen and keyboard, arthritis, tremor, lack of coordination which makes it difficult to type or move the mouse. This list can be endless for older adults, so finding a computer to suit them may prove to be extremely difficult. Of course there...
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