Pandemic sees over-65s become more confident online: Three in five buy items on the internet and a third say they’re now more ‘digitally savvy’
- One in three over-65s go online to do banking or manage their utility bills
- Three in five do online shopping and one in ten-play online games
- Internet usage among pensioners up 70% compared to pre-Covid levels
By Camilla Canocchi for Thisismoney.co.uk
Published: 07:51 GMT, 28 December 2021 | Updated: 07:51 GMT, 28 December 2021
Pensioners are catching up with younger generations and spending more time online and as a result, their internet usage has surged since the pandemic unfolded, new research has found.
Around three in five pensioners are now happy to shop online as more aspects of their life go digital, according to research by TalkTalk.
Meanwhile, with bank branches continuing to close down at speed, roughly one in three pensioners now do their banking online and log on to do other bits of admin, like managing their utility bills, according to the telecoms giant.
Almost one in four pensioners said they now lead a more digitally-savvy lifestyle
Overall, pensioners are feeling more comfortable with using the internet, with 37 percent saying they now lead a more digitally-savvy lifestyle than they did pre-pandemic.
It comes as internet usage among over-65s shot up by almost 70 percent between July and November this year compared to the same period in 2019 before Covid struck.
The jump was driven by older generations increasingly using the internet to carry out tasks like shopping and banking, as well as streaming films and TV series and playing games, according to the report.
Around one in four pensioners said they now stream more content than they did before the pandemic, with Netflix TV shows such as Bridgerton and The Queen’s Gambit proving the most popular with over-65s.
More than half, or 54 percent, said streaming is now among their favorite hobbies.
One in ten also took up online gaming during the pandemic, with Minecraft, Fortnite, and Call of Duty among the most popular games played by over-65s.
Both games and streaming use significant bandwidth, hence the big jump in internet usage seen over the period.
The poll of 1,000 over-65s also found that two-thirds say that fast, reliable, and affordable broadband is crucial to their day-to-day lives.
Meanwhile, one in five plans to upgrade their internet to a faster package next year.
Jonathan Kini, managing director of TalkTalk business and consumer, said: ‘Over 65s are streaming, gaming and doing more than ever since the pandemic.
‘The genie is out of the bottle and it isn’t going back.
‘By 2025 we estimate that peak broadband usage will more than double, which is why we’re continually optimizing our network and rolling out affordable full fiber.’
‘Streaming has become one of my favorite pastimes’
Tuning in: David Lawrence
For David Lawrence, a 79-year-old retired export manager from Derbyshire, streaming TV series has become one of his favorite ways to stay entertained.
‘Being retired I have more time on my hands, so the convenience of being able to watch my favorite shows any time of the day is a big plus,’ he says.
‘The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown are particular favorites of mine and they became a real talking point with my friends and family over the pandemic.
‘There’s nothing better than sitting down with a nice cup of tea and getting lost in the stories.’