Too Old For Technology? How The Elderly Of Lisbon Use And Perceive ICT

Bárbara Barbosa Neves, Fausto Amaro


The elderly have traditionally been an excluded group in the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Even though their use of ICT is increasing, there is still a significant age-based digital divide. To empower elderly people’s usage of ICT we need to look at their patterns of usage and perceptions. To understand how Portugal’s elderly (65 and above) use and perceive mobile phones, computers and the Internet, we surveyed a random stratified sample of 500 individuals over 64 years of age, living in Lisbon. Of those surveyed, 72% owned a mobile phone, 13% used computers, and 10% used the Internet. The quantitative data was followed-up by ten qualitative (semi-structured) interviews. The implications of the results are discussed herein.


Keywords: Elderly, Aging, ICT, Ageism, Digital Divide, Mobile phones, Computers, Internet, Portugal, “faux users”

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The Journal of Community Informatics. ISSN: 1712-4441