Telenor : Can Facebook help reduce loneliness among the elderly? Telenor
Norway wants more senior citizens socialising online
(Fornebu, April 18th 2013) With the launch of the digital tool "Senior
Citizens' Guide to Social Media" in Norway, Telenor wants to encourage the
elderly to become more active online. In a large survey of the online habits
of the elderly, almost 70% said that they currently don't use social media.
The use of social media among the over 65s in Norway is low, according to a
survey conducted by Respons Analyse on behalf of Telenor. Now the telecoms
company wants to help more elderly people to socialise online.
'We believe that every elderly person can benefit from socialising online from
time to time. By becoming more familiar with social media it can be easier to
stay in touch with friends and loved ones, even when it isn't possible to be
physically present,' says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.
The higher the age, the lower the knowledge and use. While one in three aged
65-70 used social media, just 20 per cent of those aged 75-85 do so. One in
three of those over 75 responded that they didn't know what social media was.
'It's nice that Telenor helps to raise awareness among seniors about social
media through its "Senior Guide for social media." By using technology, the
elderly people have an opportunity to stay in touch with friends and family,
and they easily can enter into a dialogue with past and new acquaintances,'
said Secretary General of the Red Cross, Åsne Havnelid.
The generation gap
Of those aged 65-85, 27 per cent said that they spend some time alone and that
they would like more contact with family and friends. Loneliness increases
with age, more than one in three of those over 75 responded that they would
like more contact with family and friends.
Of the elderly who use social media, two in three stated that they did so to
stay in touch with family and friends. This applied particularly to the most
elderly. 82 per cent of those over 75 responded that they used social media as
a social aid.
'To many seniors, loneliness is a strain. To help older adults to become more
comfortable with social media can be an effective measure in the fight against
loneliness. Technology can make it easier to stay in touch with family and
friends,' says Åsne Havnelid.
'As a channel of communication, the Internet is of course no substitute for
visits and close contact, but it can be an alternative at those times when one
would otherwise be alone,' says Svendsen.
Perceived generation gap
The recent survey also shows that there is broad agreement among the elderly
that the Internet and social media have created a generation gap. A total of
65 per cent of respondents over 65 fully or partially agreed with this.
'Probably, more knowledge in this area could also help lessen the perceived
distance between the generations,' says Havnelid.
'We hope that today's grandchildren will help us to train the grandparent
generation in how to get online. If there is anyone who really knows how to
socialise on digital platforms, it's them,' urges Svendsen.
For further information, please contact:
Anders Krokan, Information Manager, Telenor Norway, tel. + 47 952 09 327,
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Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE
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