This is the dawning of the age of cyber-nonni. With Italy’s graying population, a new generation of silver surfers are increasingly becoming connected with technology and with the rest of the world.
Many are learning because some family member or friend helped them, or because they have taken advantage of community programs or initiatives like Nonni su Internet” (in Rome), Alpha 2.0 (in Parma) and senior classes at universities.
Data from Istat reveals that from 2005 to 2009, the demographic of Italians age 60 to 74 registered the most growth among computer users — about an 80% increase (Key4Biz.it 7.24.10). And despite their more limited access to technology, the number of Italians over 60 who use a computer and access the Internet has increased by about 16% during those four years. Still, the most active cyber-nonni are between the ages of 60 and 64. They use computers for sending and receiving emails (78%), looking for information on goods and services (66%), learning (65%), reading or downloading newspapers (51%), searching for health news (48%), shopping (22%) and making phone calls (13%) or video calls (11%).