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
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.
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 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent, said streaming is now among their favourite 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 are 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 plan 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 optimising our network and rolling out affordable full fibre.’
‘Streaming has become one of my favourite 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 favourite ways to stay entertained.
‘Being retired I have more time on my hands, so the convenience of being able to watch my favourite shows any time of the day is a big plus,’ he says.
‘The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown are particular favourites 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.’