NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

Seniors and Parents Say the Internet Has a Positive Effect on Their Lives

Seniors and Parents Say the Internet Has a Positive Effect on Their Lives

family online

Today's families are enjoying a surge of transformative services, apps, and technologies that are making their lives easier in so many ways. Internet speeds have never been faster, and as people demand more bandwidth to handle each household member's online interests and the multiple tablets, phones, laptops, and other IoT devices they use to connect, America's robust broadband networks have never been a more essential part of every home. While internet safety has always been a big concern, especially for families and older generations, the good news is that a recent report indicates online use among older family members is up and the majority of parents are pleased with the role the internet plays in their children's lives. 

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) recently released a survey on online safety that was conducted across several generations among families, and the results convey that parents and elderly citizens are recognizing the great benefits that come from being connected.  

In FOSI's latest report, parents were twice as likely to respond that technology and the internet "made their job as a parent easier rather than harder." This is because connected children use the internet for homework help, educational content, to conduct research, foster their creativity, and for entertainment purposes—all of which led to better performances in school. And to safeguard their children's internet use, two thirds of parents said they are using at least one parental control tool.  

When it comes to seniors, 80 percent reported that they use the internet, while two in three responded that technology has had a positive effect on their lives. Their internet use includes social media, navigation apps, online shopping, and an interest in using the internet for health-related services or grocery delivery. The report also outlined that more than nine in 10 seniors are proactively taking at least one step to protect their personal information online, such as by installing anti-virus software or by using strong passwords for their accounts. 

Moreover, seniors were also more likely to reach out to their adult children for technology and internet-safety related matters than other sources. 

This is why the cable industry devotes a lot of time and effort to gather and offer resources for parents around parental controls, cybersecurity, and media literacy—to empower them with the knowledge and skills they need to pass on to their children and older relatives. Cable operators are committed to helping parents manage their family's online use through their various programs and online resources devoted to internet monitoring and management. The guidance and empowerment they receive through these services pay dividends as younger and older generations are better equipped to navigate the internet safely and to maximize the benefits that come with being digital citizens.

To learn more about how cable operators and programmers are empowering families, visit the industry's resource hub on parental controls at controlwithcable.org.