Increasing government pressure for everyone to join the 'enlightened majority' of internet users is causing upset and heartache for the elderly says a new study from national age-concern charity 'Age UK'.
Nanas and grampies alike have been given a 'hefty shove' towards bridging the digital divide from a variety of government departments, all keen to cut costs and reduce staff as budgets are slashed. 'We've simplified the website so that you can do anything you might need in an average of just four hours frustrating searching instead of the former three days,' said a DirectGov spokesman.
The DirectGov changes have been welcomed by all age groups, but Age UK says the wider internet is still problematic for old codgers nationwide, wheeling out several elderly internet users from the study as 'typical examples'.
Mrs Ethel Granger says her early internet experiences were disappointing. 'I've tried using this netweb thing to find out more about 'One Man and His Dog', but I ended up with a swathe of images and films showing disgusting acts of bestiality,' she explained. 'I wouldn't have minded so much if it had shown a lovely furry collie because the man in the photographs was fit-as, but I despise those skinny little greyhounds.'
Age UK also presented Mr Harry Ingle, who's son convinced him that Facebook would change his life. 'I really enjoy completing the regular Facebook quizzes and was pleasantly surprised to find myself rated as 93% sexy,' he said, 'but I was extremely shocked after accepting my twenty-year-old granddaughter as a friend. One of her workmates added some rather candid photography entitled 'ibiza tour 2010 lolz' that I'm sure she is utterly ashamed of.'
'I still don't really know my way around things so it took me ages to work out a way of getting the sordid images off my screen,' he said. 'I was on the verge of pointing a camera at the monitor until my son came round to plug the printer in for me. Now I can keep them safe even if she changes the privacy settings.'
Mr Ingle's wife Glenda has also had unwanted experiences on Google thanks to the search behemoth's 'SafeSearch' feature. 'I was looking for stuff about this naked chef I'd heard about, but it kept pointing me towards Amazon selling me books about Jamie bloody Oliver,' she lamented. 'I'm really disappointed -- I thought this World Wide Web was supposed to be full of cord-quivering octogenarian smut.'
Age UK says that the worst is yet to come, with care-home inmates set to receive free internet access, sponsored by FriendsReunited. 'We think this is a particularly callous idea,' said the charity's spokesman, 'partly because the oldest residents struggle to move a mouse in a straight line, let alone remember what school they went to, but mainly because the doddery bastards lose the will to live when they realise all of their friends are long gone.'