Half of the population say they are struggling to keep up with digital and technological developments taking place in society today. Seven out of ten fear a digital class divide.
‘This is an alarmingly high figure,’ says Berit Svendsen, CEO of Telenor Norway.
‘Technological development waits for no one, so these figures show we have a big job on our hands in the shape of providing decent training and information about digitisation to society. This requires a truly national effort,’ says Svendsen.
The figures are taken from a new survey conducted by research company Norstat, and there are significant differences between sex and age.
54 per cent of women in the survey say they think it is challenging to keep up with digital and technological developments, while only 43 per cent of men say the same thing.
A mere 28 per cent agree with this statement in the age range of 18 to 34 years old, while 50 per cent of 34 to 50 year olds say it is challenging and 66 per cent of 50 to 79 year olds say the same thing.
It is also the oldest members of society who fear a digital class divide: 81 per cent of 50 to 79 year olds responded yes to this question.
During Arendal Week, Telenor will be organising Internet For All courses in partnership with Pensjonistforbundet for almost 100 senior citizens over 65.
‘New technology can prevent loneliness and help to ensure that today’s 65 year olds can stay at home for longer thanks to welfare technology. For 65 year olds, digital skills are crucial if they are to enjoy a good quality of life during old age. This is why we are working to ensure that senior citizens are provided with knowledge and training in the use of tablets and smartphones,’ says General Secretary Harald Olimb Norman.
Digital class divide
As the survey shows, there is a great need for more knowledge and skills to allow people to keep up with the digital curve.
‘As Norway’s biggest telecoms and Internet provider, at Telenor we are able to act on our responsibility to help people across the digital divide. The Use Your Head campaign, the Digital Parenting School and Mobil-Lappen are all measures that help to reinforce children and parent’s digital skills, while ‘Internet For All’ is a nationwide course that we organise for beginners and senior citizens who need a little help to get started on the Internet and using apps on their mobiles and tablets. We’re now hoping that others will contribute to this important work, and that the authorities will take the threat of a digital class divide seriously. Technology is for everyone – not just a small group,’ says Svendsen.
She understands why many people find it challenging to keep up.
‘Right now there is an incredible number of things happening, and development is so rapid that it is only natural to struggle to keep up. Fortunately, technology is also getting better, and the most recent and best services being developed are now all simple and user friendly – so you just need to have a go,’ says Svendsen.
Source: Telenor / Norway Today