Unmasking the Digital Dilemma: European Seniors and the Urgent Call for Media Literacy

Too many European seniors have difficulties in looking for online reliable sources and quite often they merely sharing fake news, without critically engaging with. The 2030 Digital Compass, that translates the EU’s digital ambitions into concrete terms, revolves around four main pillars and the first, a digitally skilled population, advances the target on basic digital skills for a minimum of 80% of the population.

Current Status

This pressing issue is further exacerbated by the absence of systematic European research on seniors’ digital media literacy while this glaring gap underscores the urgency for concerted efforts to bridge the digital literacy divide among older adults.

Unfortunately, to date only 35% of those aged 55-74 and 30% of the retired and the inactive in Europe possess basic digital skills [1]

A systematic,  European research regarding seniors’ (digital) media literacy still does not exist.
Why do older adults engage more frequently with fake news? There is not a single-factor answer: candidate explanations are cognitive declines, social changes, digital illiteracy, lack of perceived usefulness but also “ageism”- a particular form of discrimination that is raising in Europe targeting seniors  simply because they are old, making them feel unwelcome[2]

Initiatives such as desinfoEND project are focused on media literacy skills acquisition for seniors through particularly effective methodologies such as Dialogic Gatherings and Interactive Groups.

Discover more about our crucial endeavor and the path to empowering seniors in the digital age!

[1] Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020 Report

Leave a Comment

Critical Thinking against Disinformation