The Meeting Place

Young Australians keen to help older generations get online

New research released today by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner shows most younger Australians are keen to help older relatives acquire new digital skills.

The research reveals that young people are more likely to show an older family member how to use technology (59 per cent), rather than simply do tasks for them online when asked (40 per cent).

“Despite the myth of young people being too frustrated or annoyed to help an older family member use technology, only four per cent of those surveyed reported feeling that way,” says eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

“Young people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are even more likely to show an older family member how to use technology – 66 per cent in fact.”

The research also shows that younger generations believe it is important for older Australians aged over 70 to have better digital skills. The benefits are seen to be better access to goods and services, alleviating social isolation and providing more independence and confidence.

The main barriers to helping older Australians gain better digital skills were identified as a lack of time, patience, confidence and the potential logistical challenges, such as transport to training venues.

Do you have younger family members to help you navigate your way online?


Oldies can just ask Google for instructions or open Youtube for instructions and replay as often as you wish.

One aspect the article did not mention is the security issues.  Too often, folks want us to do our commerce online, banks and businesses have charged me in the past for not making computer based payments.  How to be secure on the internet requires updating, and understanding enough to know if securty has been compromised.  

Linda, that is very true. I pay some of my utility accounts by direct debit.  I used to pay them at the P.O. when I was still working. By the time I got there they were about to close. They were not open Saturday mornings then. I never do it myself via the internet. I reckon that is more risky. I know many companies charge a surcharge if you pay by giving details on the phone.

A wonderful initiative. If only I can count the number of times my 10 year old neighbour helped me out and all he required in payment was pancakes!

For anyone concerned about their on-line security and other computer activities, The Commonwealth Government has a site specifically intended for the older generation.  Called "beconnected" it offers tutorials and advice.  There are also quite few community clubs and organisations that can and do give direct training to get a novice through the hoops and over the hurdles.  I'm in an Apple users group that covers everything about getting the best out of your Macs and iPads.

Here's the link to the Government site:


Our group has received a Government Grant specifically to assist us in assisting those less familiar with the digital age.

Our local council provides free tuition for seniors to help with computers. When I say the local council does it, they actually provide a room and arrange for the students from the nearby primary school to be the ones to help.


I only do telephone banking to pay my credit card and bpay for my bills.  Never had a problem.

Its all very well learning digital but sadly the Internet etc is just so easy hacked that I have no confidence in it at all. That is why I don't use it - not because I don't know how!.

It is not just the elderly that are not on the net --- I know MANY people much younger than myself that have NO idea about computers and have NO intention or interest in learning --