The Rise of the Silver Surfer in the UK
Published on: 29th Apr 2014
The number of Brits aged 65 and over accessing the internet has risen by more than a quarter in the past year.
The proportion of people aged over 65 --sometimes referred to as silver surfers -- that are accessing the web reached 42% in 2013, up nine percentage points from 33% in 2012.
One reason for this, the telecoms regulator, Ofcom reported is an increase in the use of tablet computers by older people aged 65-74 to go online, up from 5% in 2012 to 17% in 2013.
This has helped to drive overall internet use up from 79% of all adults in 2012 to 83% in 2013.
However, older people spend significantly less time surfing the web than younger people (16-24 year olds), who on average spend more than a whole day (24 hours 12 minutes) each week online. This compares to an average 9 hours 12 minutes online per week among adults over 65.
The research also reveals that watching TV continues to be the media that adults say they would miss most (42%) if it was taken away. Young people aged 16-24 are more than three times more likely to choose their smartphone (47%) over TV (13%), while people over 65 say they would most miss watching TV (68%).
Ofcom has a statutory duty to promote media literacy and conducts research to provide an accessible overview across TV, radio, internet and mobile phones.