George Robertson believes retirees can gain plenty from the online revolution.
George Robertson believes retirees can gain plenty from the online revolution. David Sparkes

Retiree willing to learn about web

GEORGE Robertson decided it was never too late to learn about the internet.

The 63-year-old retiree is four weeks into his computer and internet lessons and admits to being somewhat daunted by the whole process. But he is determined he won’t miss all the fun.

“I feel that I’m getting left behind, because that’s the way the world is going,” he said.

Mr Robertson is beginning to realise how beneficial the internet can be for him.

“There’s things you can do on the internet that I didn’t dream were possible,” he said.

“(In our lesson today), we just covered it before, shopping on the internet.”

“I play lawn bowls and there’s not a lawn bowls shop in Gladstone that sells the gear I want. So I got online and I can use shops all around Australia.”

He is already sending emails, especially to his family who are live in Sarina, Townsville and Tamworth.

He has never tried Skype but he is looking forward to learning how to use it.

“I had a granddaughter born last week,” he said.

“The day she was born, I rang my daughter up and I said I’m going to try and send you an email. And it just couldn’t work.

“I have just done it now and they would have the message now.”

Mr Robertson believes the internet holds great opportunity for people older than him.

“I can see people 10 years older than me sitting at home, maybe disabled or can’t move properly, and they’ve got all this (opportunity) sitting there and they don’t know how to use it,” he said.


Research by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows older people are less likely to use the internet than any other age group.

In 2008-09, 31% of people aged 65 and over accessed the internet, compared with just 17% in 2004-05.

Because older people are less likely to be in the workforce, they are also less likely to have access to the internet in a workplace, whereas many younger people do.

People familiar with the internet are moving into the older age brackets, while many older people are re-educating themselves to use the internet.