Older generation feels “freer” by learning new technology skills 

Laughing family, senior parents and their adult son, using a tablet PC.

BT Group offers range of resources to help bring independence for the elderly

Nearly one in five over-60s are still struggling to adapt to an online world, according to research from BT Group.

The survey of 1,500 older adults found 39 per cent feel they are anything but ‘tech savvy’, with 18 per cent finding it difficult to get to grips with the online tasks they now have to do day-to-day.

Six in 10 think there’s more pressure on older generations to adapt to using technology because they’ve been familiar with life without it, compared to the younger generations.

As a result, almost half want to learn more tech skills, as 46 per cent feel they have to rely on gadgets and technology on a daily basis.

In the last 10 years, the typical over-60 has learnt 12 new tech related skills including making video calls (47 per cent), online shopping (42 per cent) and how to use QR codes (32 per cent). With one in 10 using tech skills in order to feel less lonely, this festive season is a great time to encourage the older people in your life to learn new things.

Ordering prescriptions (29 per cent), selling things online (22 per cent) and streaming films and TV shows (18 per cent) also featured in the list of modern skills older adults have grown used to.

And 65 per cent believe you are never too old to learn new things.


Victoria Johnson, Social Impact Director at BT Group, said: “It’s brilliant to see through this research just how much over 60s have learnt in a short space of time and that they’re keen to keep learning. To date, we’ve helped over 14.7 million people across the UK make the most of life in the digital world thanks to our resources.

 “BT Group’s purpose is to connect for good, and one of the ways we do this is by helping older people boost their confidence and understanding of digital tools and technology. To work towards an inclusive digital future for the UK, we need to ensure that everyone is getting the benefits that technology offers.”


The study also found seven in 10 of those polled had to use technology in their most recent job, including emails (69 per cent), spreadsheets (41 per cent) and group chats (19 per cent).

Many felt they have needed to adapt to an online world in order to complete life admin (37 per cent) and stay connected with others (34 per cent).

Of those surveyed 37 per cent said doing so has made their life easier, while 18 per cent said using technology has helped them feel less isolated and lonely.

The typical day sees the older age group spend an average of four hours online, by online shopping (67 per cent), paying bills (62 per cent) and keeping up to date with news (53 per cent).

Whilst 58 per cent taught themselves how to use various devices, 17 per cent took an in-person class and 29 per cent learnt via their child.

More on how BT Group can help with a range of resources can be found here:

Helping you learn new digital skills | BT Help



  1. Making video calls
  2. Sending emails
  3. Online shopping
  4. Online banking
  5. Using Google Maps (or similar)
  6. Sending messages in a group chat
  7. Taking a photo on a mobile phone
  8. Using QR codes
  9. Setting up group chats on apps like WhatsApp and Messenger
  10. How to connect to WiFi
  11. Using a USB stick
  12. Ordering online prescriptions
  13. Booking holidays online
  14. Comparing insurance quotes
  15. Editing photos on your phone or computer
  16. Using Bluetooth
  17. Posting content on social media
  18. Setting up social media accounts
  19. Making an online reservation
  20. Selling things online
  21. Downloading a covid ‘pass’
  22. Listening to the radio
  23. Storing things on the cloud
  24. Filming a video on a mobile phone
  25. Choosing a restaurant
  26. Streaming films/TV shows
  27. Setting up home tech
  28. Using a smart speaker
  29. Using spreadsheets
  30. Streaming music
  31. Ordering food on an app
  32. Setting up hands free in the car
  33. Listening to a podcast
  34. Applying for jobs online
  35. Setting up /using a fitness tracker
  36. Setting up a VPN
  37. Creating a reel
  38. Using hashtags on social media
  39. Using a games console
  40. Setting up a YouTube channel
About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4416 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.