Built around the fair that was assembled in the area in the 17th century, the modern district of Mayfair has at least some association with outside trade and shoppers, in addition to the permanent residents that call the area home. However, much of Mayfair’s wealth is now produced locally, with around £2.5 million added to the area’s coffers each year by the native population.
Games and Mobile Phones
Mayfair is therefore a complex, changing landscape that’s defined by its demographics yet, while the average person in the area is generally fresh-faced and from a more internet-proficient generation, its senior population is having an unlikely impact on consumer technology.
Of course, older people have been using technology for some time now, as popular pastimes have become digitised in the internet era. For example, bingo, which has an average player age of 53, is an obvious type of activity that has been lured online in recent years but slot machines also skew older (60+) players.
Primarily, this is because these games are designed to be simple and are easily accessible via any device with an internet connection. This means that fan-favourites such as the Rainbow Riches requires little more than a single click to play and can be accessed on the go or from a PC desktop. This isn’t to say, however, that the games are lacklustre or basic. The addition of three bonus features keeps the concept interesting and the game also comes in seven alternate variants, including Slingo and Megaways.
A shift towards a tech-savvy older generation isn’t a surprise. Everybody gets old. Even the group of people that were around for the internet’s debut in the 1990s are now in their thirties and forties. However, it seems that seniors are adopting new technologies all on their own. To borrow data from Forbes, 80% of people aged 65+ use a device for shopping and/or keeping up with their medical concerns. In 2020, high-tech purchases made by older people increased by 200%, including tablets and phones.
So, how does all this affect the technology industry? For various reasons, seniors tend to value accessibility and function over form. This means that many apps on the App and Play stores will have to rethink their user experience, known as UX, and their user interface (UI) to make it more intuitive and responsive. The major shift though could come in the assisted living industry, though, which increased tech spend by 87% in 2021 to accommodate service users’ newfound love of all things with touchscreens.
Seniors are choosing a hands-off way of learning how to use technology though, chiefly, by being more hands-on with traditional means of education, like books and training courses. Technology isn’t always friendly to first-timers. The raft of paywalls, GDPR notes, newsletter pop-ups, cookie warnings, and other sign-up requests can be alarming even for veteran users of the internet, for instance. Study groups provide a much less threatening sliproad onto the information superhighway.
While all the above is currently a more general trend, the universal appeal of technology to all demographics as a simpler, more streamlined alternative to manual work is an inevitable part of the future of London and, indeed, the rest of the world. Mayfair’s affluent and changeable nature means that the area is well-placed to benefit from the tech-aware elderly, even if it’s just in the pursuit of entertainment opportunities and wellbeing advice.
Plans from 2017 to increase housing by 10% and the overall population by 25% means that the village is breaking away from some of its more ancient restrictions, so the shift is being felt incrementally. That being said, it’s a remarkably positive overhaul. After all, few people want their loved ones left out in the digital cold, as technology provides a vital form of communication with this sometimes isolated group.