In a study released early this year, the Kaiser Family Foundation compared activities of 65+ seniors with the group of seniors right behind them, and found that both groups were active online.

Pew researchers theorize that the heightened level of wired seniors' activities online reflects the fact that they are new users — with a difference. New users normally adopt e-mail and information-gathering immediately, but shy away from making purchases, banking or participating in online auctions. As the population ages, however, more people who regularly used the internet at work are retiring and the over-65 set will probably have higher rates of connectivity and report higher rates of "high trust" activities.

Furthermore, the Pew study found that once seniors get online, they are just as enthusiastic as younger users. Wired seniors are as keen as younger users to take advantage of the major activities that define online life — such as e-mail and the use of search engines to answer a specific question. In addition, they are as likely as younger users to go online on a typical day.

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