April 15, 2011

FRANCE: "At 84, I celebrated my birthday on Facebook"

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PARIS / Le Monde / Week End / April 15, 2011

By Agnès Bun and Charlène Pelé

Illustration by Xavier Gorce for Le Monde
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"I have Skype, Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, that's a lot of messengers and messages to send," said Simone Job, 84, who created her own website !
At Villa Renee, homes for the elderly Perreux-sur-Marne (Val de Marne), a dozen residents relax in the common room. Most play playing cards or board games, rocked by a retro music.

But out of four computers lined up at the back of the room, the atmosphere is studious. Room for new technologies: twice a month, computer courses meet a handful of cybermamies. Among them, Pierrini Riba, 89, swears by her webcam. Cyberseniors - Pierrini and Simone . each year, more and more seniors are swelling the ranks of "silver surfers", generation of Internet-haired gray.

28% over age 70 have a computer, according to a study Crédoc (Research Center for the Study and Observation of Living Conditions) conducted in June 2010. A steady increase in sales compared to previous years: they were 21% in 2009, 17% in 2008. Nearly a quarter (24%) in their seventies now have Internet access, while only 18% in 2009.

Among them, more than half (54%) surfs the Web daily. More connected, less isolated for many "cyberseniors" The Internet is primarily a means to keep their relatives at your fingertips. Thanks to his computer, Siroux Madeleine, 77, attended the first steps of his grand-son, 800 km away.

It is with much emotion as Simone Job this year celebrated his birthday on Facebook, and received the greeting virtual friends. Cyberseniors - Simonepar News Tech Buzz. Since his home en Jacqueline Abram, 79, uses his mouse and keyboard to do its bookkeeping. Even when receiving guests, the discussion revolves around new technologies.

The occasion for Francis Porras, 75, confessed to having tested dating sites on the Internet ... just curious. Cyberseniors - Jacqueline and Francis by Tech News Buzz. en To explain this craze, Fanette Action, Project Manager at Crédoc, two types of Internet elderly. "The 60-69 years are connected because they already had Web access at their place of work before retiring.

These are the 'young' older people who are the fastest changing and most use the Internet today. " For their part, the older are more and more frequently to their children and grandchildren. "Young people act as mediators, said Fanette Appeals. Family support plays a lot." It does not mean as far as the seniors begin to "skype" all day long.

"Most seniors are confined to use 'classic' of the Internet, and is used primarily to send or receive e-mails," says Fanette Appeals. Few of them use social networks (7% of Facebook users are between 60-69 years, and only 1% over 70 years, according to the documentary credit). Administrative procedures and online shopping also scare many seniors.

BABY BOOMERS OF YESTERDAY, TOMORROW FOR E-CONSUMERS? Even while important, the digital divide between generations could be absorbed. On the Web, dedicated platforms for senior citizens is growing. In a few clicks, they can learn (on the news site Senior Planet for instance), meet or join a social network dedicated to them, Beboomer, dedicated "to more than 45 years." Gone are the days when there were only for 7 to 77 years.

Text of the English version published above is by courtesy of TECH NEWS BUZZ

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