Navigating the online world can be challenging for those of us who aren’t tech savvy. Many online activities, such as shopping, gaming, socialising or learning are marketed at younger audiences. With so many websites to choose from, the internet can seem like a complex or even scary place to some.
However, we know that older people also enjoy spending time on the internet. Research suggests that internet use amongst those aged over 65 is beginning to catch up with younger generations.
Recent internet use for 65 to 74 year olds has increased from 52% in 2011 to 78% in 2017, which is an increase of 26% in just six years. In comparison, 99% of 16 to 25 year olds have also recently used it.
There are many activities we can do online, no matter our age. Whether it be for entertainment, gaining knowledge or catching up with friends and loved ones, the internet has something for everyone to enjoy.
Here are just three great online activities that you should consider getting involved with:
1. Playing games online
Games provide us with enjoyment, help prevent boredom and provide us with mental stimulation.
If you are someone who enjoys doing the crossword or sudoku in the newspaper, you’ll be happy to know that there are many, many puzzle games available to play online. There are games with different themes, player modes and levels of difficulty. If the game exists offline, then there is almost definitely a digital version somewhere on the internet.
Some online puzzle games encourage users to participate in ‘brain training’, these games are meant to be played regularly to help improve memory, cognitive function and even sleep. They also have the additional benefit of helping with relaxation, mindfulness and focus.
Through challenging yourself and playing these puzzle games you can gain an understanding of what your weaknesses are and what skills you need to build. Then, by playing certain games on a daily basis you can watch your skill level grow and measure just how much you have improved.
Puzzles are not the only games that you can play online, gambling is also popular with many internet users. Bingo is a fun, easy game for adults of all ages and can be played on many websites.
Online bingo is similar to offline bingo, players are given a randomly generated card and watch as numbers are randomly selected. A prize is won when the numbers selected match a certain amount of numbers, usually a line or house, on the player’s bingo card.
The main difference is the huge array in game choice and themes online. Popular games include 90 ball bingo, 75 ball bingo and jackpot games. Players do not even always need to put down a deposit to start playing, some websites offer a free bingo bonus or other welcome incentive.
Online chats also let you speak to other players during the game. Bingo websites are a great way to have some fun, have a go at winning money and chat with new people, all from the comfort of your own living room!
Being retired or having a little more leisure time does not mean an end to gaining knowledge and learning new things. If you have always fancied picking up a new language or brushing up on your mathematics, then the internet is a great place to do it.
No matter your level of fluency, you will be able to find language lessons and resources on the internet to suit your skill level. Learn popular European languages such as French or Spanish, or challenge yourself to Chinese, Korean or Arabic. These are just a few of the languages you can practice on the web.
Lessons may take the form of games, quizzes or videos and will help you to improve your vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation of words.
There are also websites that give access to thousands of courses on an incredible range of topics, with everything from psychology or animal science to photography or nutrition on offer.
Learning online is a great option for improving cognitive abilities and providing intellectual stimulation. Internet based courses give learners the opportunity to participate and interact with the world around them, and do not depend on our ability to get to a physical location.
Last but not least, social networking is a great way of keeping up to date with what your friends and relatives are doing. It is particularly good for keeping in touch with younger relatives, such as the grand kids. Younger people often post their holiday pictures, achievements and days out to social media sites like Facebook or Instagram.
But do not worry, you don’t have to be as willing to share every detail about your life in order to use these platforms. All social networking websites give you the ability to send private messages, comment on other users’ pictures and posts and share content publicly or with your own selected network of people.
When using social networking sites, be careful not to give away personal information such as credit card details for people you do not know. While the vast majority of site users are just there for entertainment and to connect with people, there are a small minority of people with bad intentions. If you do not want to receive messages or interact with somebody, you always have to option to block or unfriend them.
These websites are great for helping to prevent feelings of loneliness and isolation if you aren’t able to get out much.
You can also connect with people that have similar interests to you. You can find groups for book discussions, interest groups or even just people in the same geographic location as you.
While many websites are marketed at younger people, there are many online activities that you can get involved with no matter your age.
Whether you want to socialise with friends or new people, have some fun or learn some skills, the internet is filled with a whole range of possibilities.