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Time to switch on and leave the echo chamber

The Beagle Editor

Here is a link to an interesting extract from a ACMA (Australia Communications & Media Authority) monthly news letter found HERE

It highlights the following points which will be of interest to those involved locals particularly those seeking the local news and attempting to be informed as to Council's business and goings-on. It highlights the importance that future candidates should engage with ratepayers via digital platforms and social media.

Here are the highlights of the two research papers:

Older Australians (65+) have experienced a considerable change in their digital habits. They are engaging in a broader range of online activities, more frequently and across different devices.

Mobile phones and tablets are now their main gateway to the internet, Mobile phones were used to access the internet by 78 per cent of older Australians in the last six months to June 2020, up from 51 per cent in 2017.

The majority continue to feel overwhelmed by technological change, and may be largely unmotivated to find out more. Their engagement in online environments appears to have been prompted by perceived (or actual) necessity, rather than by seeing benefits in ‘going online’ or feeling confident about doing so.

The data showed a significant rise in the number of older Australians using the internet to do their banking, shopping, watching video, listening to audio, accessing telehealth and other professional services.

The research showed older Australians still found the online environment challenging, with 80 per cent in 2020 reporting that they find technology difficult to keep up with. This suggests that their increased engagement with technology may be due to necessity, rather than choice as the digital environment continues to evolve.

Compared to other age groups, younger Australians are more comfortable in online environments, quick to adapt to new technological developments and use more digital platforms and apps to navigate their worlds.

Those aged 18 to 34 used an average of 5.2 social media apps in 2020, compared to 3.4 for older Australians.

Internet use is also spreading across more devices, with almost half (50%) of young Australians using 5 or more types of devices to go online in 2020, up from 30 per cent in 2017. The most common devices were mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

It is no longer good enough to receive your news via TV and paper. Everyone has to go out and find what you need. Beware listening to the same echo chamber of what you want to hear and turn off the broad spectrum of information that might just change your opinion on an issue or person.

What was acceptable in past years is not good practice in today's investigative informed world. Allocate time to be informed don't just flip through the posts and pictures to fill your day/night.


Harry Watson Smith