Majority of Older Americans Prefer to Send E-Mail

E-mail is replacing handwritten letters and postcards for the majority of older Americans with Internet access, according to a recent survey conducted by E-Poll for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN® TV service. Seventy-nine percent of Internet users over the age of 55 who responded to the survey said that they type an e-mail message instead of handwriting a letter or postcard when they write to a family member. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said that communication with their family has increased since going online. Of the respondents, 71 percent receive e-mail from family members at least once a week, and 14.5 percent said they receive e-mail daily. The survey also found that 30 percent of older Americans receive digital photographs from family members at least once a month.

"These numbers demonstrate that older Americans with Internet access have adopted e-mail as a preferred way to keep in touch with family members," said Sam Klepper, general manager of MSN TV at Microsoft. "Alternatives like MSN TV that provide e-mail and Internet access from a television are helping older Americans cross the digital divide by allowing them to communicate with their children and grandchildren, who may be more advanced technology users." The MSN TV/E-Poll survey of 500 respondents was conducted in October 2003, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percent. The E-Poll report surveyed a representative group of adults over the age of 55 who were randomly selected from the E-Poll online panel. Statistics based on subsamples of the respondents are more sensitive to sampling error.

View: The full press release

News source: Microsoft

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