Open Thread Follow Up: The Digital Divide

Last week I mentioned the unsettling experience of losing internet connectivity entirely, and it was scary. It was a combination of trying to make sense of a technology that is often too complex for me to understand completely (and thus fix it or figure out what’s wrong), but it was also the sense of being cut off from a resource I’ve come to depend on…whether I wanted to or not
That same dilemma was reflected in the comments so far on this topic…the digital lifestyle is a mixed blessing.
Some folks could take it or leave it but understand that connectivity is a requirement to live in the world these days.  Some regret the loss of personal connections, others struggle to keep up, and one, for instance, said she had to learn about it to become a foster grandparent…and that’s how she found Senior Planet.  One commenter said her connectivity was intermittent and thus she was unable to fully participate in the digital lifestyle.
That’s why we’re so excited about a new initiative coming soon. Aging Connected is a national campaign with an ambitious goal of connecting one million older adults to the Internet.
Want to know more?  Sign up here to receive the latest news on this new project from OATS, plus related service offerings and tools for building digital savvy. Questions? Send them here.
We’ll keep the comments open for a while so you can send along your pet peeves, concerns, raves and rants about the digital divide.


Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at


6 responses to “Open Thread Follow Up: The Digital Divide

  1. The way I see my life is, take care of yourself, what speaks to you. I am not in to the digital age but it is required of me. I am a foster grandparent and a requirement is to learn about computers which has brought me to senior planet. I like this web-site especially the exercise programs. We as wisdom teachers can teach the younger folks.

    Take care,

  2. As a low income senior, I am able to qualify for low cost internet service. At times it is a blessing — I can go online for email to check the news, and to borrow ebooks from the library, as well as to do my grocery shopping. But sometimes I lose the connection up to ten times an hour, which can be frustrating, to say the least.
    I have read about this problem online; several people say that it happens because internet service providers want you to upgrade your service, so they intentionally decrease the strength of their signal.
    I don’t know if this is actually the case, but I am not in a position to upgrade my service, so I won’t be able to test it out. I feel very bad for any students who are trying to learn remotely if they have to use low cost internet connections.

  3. I can’t begin to express how demoralizing it is to live a life at the mercy of the computer and other aspects of the “digital divide.” I spend an immense amount of emotional energy just trying to keep my head above water.

      1. These are my exact thoughts, J. W. I am only 80yrs, now, although I have to admit I behave not so stereotyped. When I find myself thinking about digital stuff and how to do it, I first find that I am bored with it and second, I am bored with it.
        Yes, in general, I think the computer llifestyle is not such a great invention.

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