It’s up to all of us to help older farmers with digital literacy and online access
Many people, myself included, spend a lot of time in front of a computer or a phone, whether for work purposes, checking social media, or browsing the web.
That’s how easy we’ve made it in recent years with smartphones and tablets, many of us use it to get our messages, check bank balances, buy items online or fill out necessary farming forms.
And while it’s amazing how accustomed we all are to modern technology, there’s still a very large group of farmers and elderly people (see today’s pages 6 and 7) who, for one reason or another, are familiar with the technology are struggling and have not “moved with the times”. .
The numbers are startling – there are 42,000 farmers over the age of 65 in Ireland, but around 25 per cent of this cohort does not use the internet, and that figure rises to 56 per cent for those aged 75 and over.
Life without access to the internet is unimaginable for most of us, but for those who don’t use it it can be debilitating and worrying as we are increasingly pushed to do everything online. Add reading and writing difficulties and getting online is not an option for many, no matter how good the broadband or the technology.
Meanwhile, the increase in paperwork and bureaucracy involved in regulating agriculture continues, making life increasingly difficult for those who are already struggling to keep up with technology.
It is the responsibility of government agencies to ensure that everyone is taken care of when it comes to accessing services, but the rest of us also have a duty to help those who do not have the skills to navigate in the Technology navigating today’s world.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/comment/the-onus-is-on-us-all-to-help-older-farmers-with-digital-literacy-and-online-access-42330197.html It’s up to all of us to help older farmers with digital literacy and online access