Left behind by digital technology in Belgium

Left behind by digital technology in Belgium

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: Available, but not everyone uses it in Belgium Photo credit: Pixabay/Firmbee

A survey by the King Boudewijn Foundation (KBS) revealed that 40 per cent of Belgians knew little about using digital platforms.

Approximately the same proportion either did not use the internet or could not, the KBS found.

Older people were particularly at risk of getting left behind by digital technology and felt that they were unable to keep up with ongoing advances. Nevertheless, the KBS described the assumption that all young people were “digital natives” as a myth.

More than half of low-skilled young people had poor digital skills, compared to 10 per cent amongst their more highly-skilled peers, it said.

“Many people, especially those who are also already vulnerable socially, economically and culturally, cannot take full advantage of the increasing digitalisation of our society,” the survey warned.

Ninety-five per cent of Belgian households have an internet connection compared with 92 per cent in 2021 but many people used it solely to go online with a smartphone and did not own a laptop or PC or have access to one.

This in turn created problems when communicating with public bodies, the KBS found, and those with few digital skills had little confidence and felt especially insecure about online banking.

After analysing the survey’s results, KBS stressed that it was important for public institutions and banks to retain an in-person presence.

It was essential, the Foundation said, to ensure that those who did not want to use the internet, or those who did not know how to, could carry out transactions in person.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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