An unattributed pun says that ageing is one of the leading causes of statistics. Even if we stay away from stats, it is a fact that the internet and its cottage universe of applications are age friendly. Modern technology makes it easy to go online, it is reasonably inexpensive, and the benefits (social, emotional and cultural) are enormous. And so, contrary to perceptions, seniors make extensive use of the internet: My dear old friend, the late Elspeth Moll, was, at 86, more digerate (“digitally literate”) than others many years her junior.
Seniors are a power to reckon with – consider, for example, the way Australian politicians scramble to buy in the so-called ‘Grey Vote‘ — they promise substantial financial assistance on the cost of phone calls and an injection of money for old age clubs, allowing them to offer cheap, accessible internet connection.
As with all thing politics, all we need to do, in order to decipher this seemingly charitable behaviour, is to follow the vote line: (1) Seniors’ votes are crucial in the coming Australian election, (2) Politician will therefore follow what is known in Spinese (the language of spin) as “Aspirational Link,” defined here as the connection to anything voters aspire to be or become (in this example – they may aspire to be connected to their children and grandchildren and become more technologically accessible.)
While I was writing this piece I discovered Maria Amelia Lopez who, at 95, is one of the oldest bloggers in the world. Not satisfied with digeracy, Lopez is also one of the oldest cyber celebrities, posting (through her grandson, who types the content for her,) on her own blog from home, in the village of Sanxenxo, in Galicia, Spain. So far, Lopez’s blog pulled about 60,000 visitors who wanted to rub mousses with this extraordinary person.