Do you feel left behind by the digital revolution?

07 June 2018

A recent study has revealed that as many as one in five people do not feel digitally confident; a number that rises to one in four over 50s.

The rate at which technology has evolved and become increasingly ensconced in day-to-day life is off the charts; is there any wonder that people are feeling as though they’ve been left behind by the digital revolution?

According to the survey, these are the reasons why 26% of over 50s don’t feel confident using their devices.

You’ve never been taught how to use technology

If you had grown up up using mobile phones and smart televisions, odds are you’d have more joy adapting to new technologies because you’d already have a good understanding of the basics. But if you’re in your fifties and over, you simply didn’t have exposure to this kind of technology when you were young, and as a consequence your brain just isn’t wired in the same way, putting you on the back foot immediately. 

And if you’ve grown up with technology, a family member or teacher probably took the time to explain how things work to you, whereas someone picking up a mobile phone for the first time as an adult would be expected to muddle through without being given a good foundation of knowledge to refer back to. At least, that’s what 47% of over 50s have found. 

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You don’t fully understand the features

How many times have you thought to yourself ‘All I want is a phone to phone people – why is that so hard?’. 37% of over fifties would agree with you, it seems. 

But imagine this: you’re in an unfamiliar city, and you’re a bit lost. In moments you could be finding your exact location on a map and working out the best walking route to get where you’re going, checking online to discover the closing time of the place you’re trying to find, or summoning a taxi via an app – all on your phone. Not bad for something that was once only used for calling someone to tell them you’re lost. 

You think the technology develops too quickly

A third of over 50s are on exactly the same page – and understandably so. You’ve just got the hang of your activity tracker, but a new one has entered the market and people are raving about it. Do you swap to the new one, or do you stick with what you know?

Unless you’re a gadget aficionado who must have the latest and greatest bit of tech, you’ll probably stick with what you know works, and sensibly so – but where does that leave you in a few years when your current model gives up the ghost? 

Tech to keep you fit

You don’t know how to set the technology up

31% of over fifties find themselves falling at the first hurdle – when it comes to setting up the device, it’s just too complex or overwhelming. 

Meredith Sharples, Director, Post Office Broadband comments: ‘Advancements in technology have enhanced our lives in so many ways, yet it’s likely many of us will have found the pace of all this change daunting at one time or another.

Our research shows that this is a shared concern for so many, across all ages, regions and walks of life, and 73% want to upskill and boost their digital confidence.’

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Technological areas you’d like more help with

The main areas that over 50s would like more support on are fixing technological problems (46%), understanding how to get the most out of everyday smart devices (33%), using the Cloud (29%) and using shortcuts on smart devices (26%).

Digital drop-in workshops

That’s why Post Office Broadband has partnered with Google’s Digital Garage programme and a number of UK libraries in order to give people a comfortable space where they can ask any questions and learn how they can get the most from the internet and their internet enabled devices.

The Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-Ins will get underway in the cities that were revealed to be the least digitally confident; Plymouth, Cardiff, Leeds, Norwich, Belfast and Southampton. Workshops will be held as 121 sessions and group workshops, and will cover topics such as ‘Device Advice’, ‘Staying Safe Online’ and ‘Getting Started online.’ They will be free and open to anyone who wants to take part to grow their confidence online.

Ronan Harris, Google UK & Ireland Managing Director, said: ‘In the digital age, a basic understanding of how the online world works is useful and when it comes to business, it’s essential. We are delighted to partner with the Post Office and ensure everyone has access to free digital skills workshops and 1:1 coaching. We hope you'll pop in and get the skills you need to you need to grow your confidence, career or business."

For more information or to register your interest in attending a Post Office and Google Digital Garage Drop-in visit: or call 0800 068 1791.

Do you struggle with technology, or think it’s a lot faffier than it needs to be? Let us know! Drop us an email on 

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.