Discrimination: Millions of Elders Left Out of the Digital Age

Discrimination Left Millions Out of the Aged Digital Age
Discrimination Leaves Millions of Elders Out of the Digital Age - The Covid pandemic has led to more elderly people video calling their relatives, but more services are being brought online without considering those without online access. Photo: Alamy

Many people in the UK use their smartphones to control every aspect of their lives, from shopping to socializing and banking. What if the opposite is true, and this amazing technology builds invisible walls that prevent you from doing basic tasks like paying online, contacting your doctor, or even parking.

Such is the case for Jean Peters*. The 83-year-old widow says that "everything is coming online faster and faster" to the detriment of people who "can't keep up." She lives alone in a village in South Cambridgeshire.

He is one of the millions of senior citizens who are part of the smartphone subclass who find it nearly impossible to perform simple daily tasks in a society where everyone is supposed to live with their devices.

According to Peters, “technically disabled people are becoming more and more frustrated with how difficult it is to function regularly with each passing year.” This is a fundamental issue of justice and discrimination. How did it get to the point where it became almost impossible to use a cell phone to pay parking fees?

All the evidence suggests that Peters did not speak alone, but rather expressed a growing sense of discontent across the country. According to Age UK, 75% of people over the age of 40 do not use the internet at all and as a result have difficulty accessing basic services.

Peters, who frequently uses the iPad and finds the iPhone less comfortable, believes businesses should be forced to provide online substitutes.

Have you recently tried to contact an energy or insurance company directly? Even if you do manage to reach it, they will likely ask for a password you don't know, and at this point you'll have to give up.

The withdrawal of banks from the main streets also affected the widow. Since the two branches closest to her home have recently closed, she has to travel 30 miles to do anything in person except for the most basic banking services.

As I do not trust internet banking, I will not use the services for which I pay £60 a month, even though I have been banking with Barclays for over 20 years.

According to the Digital Poverty Alliance, as many as 11 million individuals in the UK struggle to cope with the technology-only solutions that have become standard.

But while numerous studies reveal that older people are increasingly denied services or charged much more for the same services, they argue that little has been done to alleviate their condition.

People are being excluded from a world they used to be able to participate in due to the coronavirus outbreak, the standardization of businesses no longer answering their phones or even answering letters, let alone answering letters, and the requirement for banks to run strong customer authentication (SCA) checks for bankers and even online shoppers.

Milk & More's decision to restrict access to online accounts last year resulted in the disenfranchisement of many of the company's main customer base, older customers.

When you consider that smartphones have nothing in common with the Nokia phones that many older people are used to, it's easy to understand why so many people feel left behind.

During the pandemic, many people in their 75s were accustomed to video communication with their grandchildren. Sally West, policy manager at Age UK, notes that many members of this group have told her that they find it difficult to do more difficult tasks online for a variety of reasons. Some people have difficulty using a keyboard or mobile device because they are hard of hearing.

Many important services are brought online without regard to individuals who do not use or have access to phones or computers; which means people miss out on more from online shopping.

source: theguardian

 

Günceleme: 27/11/2022 15:24

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