Sensis e-Business Report – How we connect in 2012
With the London Olympics now in full swing, I was reflecting back on how things had changed so quickly. Back at the Beijing Olympics we all thought we were pretty digitally switched on, but we didn’t even have iPads, let alone apps to make sure we were awake when our favourite Olympians were competing. Thinking back, I can’t imagine how we were able to keep track of the Olympics at all! Then I thought back to the Sydney games, which suddenly felt rather quaint… and again, we thought we were pretty technologically savvy at the time!
Back in 2008 we were only just starting to use the Internet on our mobile phones, by 2009 just over a quarter of Australians were accessing the internet on a phone, and the latest Sensis® e-Business Report found some 58 per cent of Australians now access the internet on mobile phones. Nonexistent in 2008, in 2012, 30 per cent of Australian households had an iPad, up from 12 per cent last year, and an extra 16 per cent plan to get one in the next year.
But something that really impresses me from this year’s report, is that 2012 is the year that older Australians got online. Back in 2008, only 56 per cent of Australians that were aged 65 and over had an internet connection. Even last year it had only made it to 59 per cent. But the latest Sensis® e-Business Report found that in 2012 some 89 per cent of Australians aged 65 and over are now connected, not far behind the 95 per cent of the overall population that has an internet connection.
Most of the growth in internet connections last year was in that age demographic. The same went for social media, with 27 per cent of older Australians using social media in 2012, up from 10 per cent last year, and again accounting for most of the growth in social media in the past year.
The findings struck a chord with me, because that photo is my seven year old son, teaching his Great Grandmother, who celebrated her 90th birthday last year, how to play Angry Birds on the iPad. She now has a Facebook page, plays Scrabble with people all over the world and reads on a Kindle.
New digital technologies are so accessible that they can now connect us across generations, bridging the age divide like never before. Just imagine where we will be when the Rio Olympics come around!