Bridging Web's Age Gap

Publication: Chicago Tribune

Author: Wailin Wong


08/17/2008 - Dr. Manus Kraff's iMac and MacBook Pro are hooked up to a home wireless network. He recently replaced his old iPhone with the latest version and downloads podcasts of scientific lectures so he can listen to them while jogging. In his downtime at the office, he signs onto Google Reader to skim his favorite Web sites.

Kraff is 76 years old. The way he has embraced technology is rare for his age group, a generation that has been late to go online in significant numbers. But in many ways Kraff is on the leading edge of seniors wading deeper into technology at a pivotal time.

Even for some older adults who have long resisted going online, the Internet is now too powerful to ignore. This year's presidential election underscores the generational divide, pitting a 71-year-old who has admitted he rarely goes online by himself against a 46-year-old who hired a founder of Facebook to organize Web-based support.

Still, the overall ranks of Web-savvy seniors remain low. Just 35 percent of Americans over the age of 65 use the Internet, according to data compiled in April and May by the Pew Internet & American Life Center. But that's up from 30 percent in November 2006. By comparison, 70 percent of people ages 50-64 use the Internet.

Read the full article Bridging Web's Age Gap on the Chicago Tribune's Web site.

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