The differences between the sexes go way beyond the obvious, as a new survey looking at the internet habits of the over 55s has revealed.
Almost 80 per cent of men aged 55 or over use the internet mainly for pursuing hobbies and finding information, while 86 per cent of women in this age group tend to use it as an alternative to the telephone for chatting with friends and family at home and abroad.
The survey conducted by ICM on behalf of Age Concern and Barclays also found that almost all those who give IT a go are hooked. Two-thirds of IT users in the 55-plus age group agreed that the internet has had a positive impact on their lives.
But the majority of people over the age of 55 have never tried the internet and two thirds of them say they have no intention of ever taking part in the IT revolution.
The research is the second project resulting from Web Aware, a three-year partnership between Age Concern and Barclays to help bring the advantages of IT to older people.
David Weymouth, chief information officer at Barclays, said: "With Age Concern's help, we aim to inspire even more people to get online and truly feel part of the IT revolution."
Age Concern's director general, Gordon Lishman, said: "The challenge for Age Concern and Barclays is to give even more older people the confidence to use their new skills in work, for pleasure and for gaining access to online services."
Silver surfers are more likely to own a mobile phone if they already own a PC - 77 per cent compared to 68 per cent of non users - and they are twice as likely to catch the texting bug along with their grandchildren.
The next phase of Web Aware will deliver Internet taster sessions at day centres and residential homes, starting with projects in Devon, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Enfield.
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