Internet use increasing among older age groups

Internet use by Taiwanese aged 60 or older increased nearly 3 percentage points from 2019 to 2020, a report by the National Development Council (NDC) showed on Monday.

The report was presented by the council’s Department of Information Management during a committee meeting to discuss digital development and information trends in Taiwan.

Internet communication by Taiwanese aged 60 or older rose from 53.5 percent in 2019 to 56.2 percent in 2020.

It is often believed that Internet use drops after age 60, as reading text on a screen becomes increasingly difficult, department head Hsieh Tsui-chuan (謝翠娟) said.

However, the 3 percentage point jump was the highest growth rate among all age groups in 2020, the report showed.

Possible reasons are that people reaching that age bracket today are more likely to have become used to the Internet being in their lives, and that the Internet is more essential now for keeping in touch with friends, children and grandchildren, Hsieh said.

The report also showed that 65.2 percent of people surveyed in the past three months said that they used the Internet on a near daily basis, averaging 6.7 days per week.

ONLINE ADDICTION

Meanwhile, Taiwanese aged 20 to 29 are the most prone to Internet addiction, at 11.2 percent, it said.

This was followed by the 12 to 17 age group at 9.6 percent, and the 30 to 39 age group at 9.1 percent. Internet addiction among people aged 18 to 59 ranged from 6.9 percent to 8.6 percent, although the NDC did not provide details on how it determined these figures.

The top three online activities in which people engage are instant messaging (83.6 percent), video entertainment (76 percent), and searching for products and information online (65.4 percent), the report showed.

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