The latest report of the People’s Panel reveals that older people fear new media technology. Critics claim that the Panel finding that two thirds of people in the 50+ group have a negative view of new technology, compared to less than one third in 16-34 group, is out of date.The People’s Panel is a 5,000 strong nationally representative group which informs Government about what people really think about public services. Although technology is making rapid advances into the lives of all people and the picture is changing daily, there has been no recent research to find out what the real situation is at the start of the new century. The findings of the Panel are based on two surveys conducted in 1998 and a later survey in Spring 1999. A calendar year is said to be equivalent to seven Internet years.
More recent independent research has revealed that older people are responding to new developments, particularly e-mail. For many it has proved the key to keeping in touch with grandchildren.