Unable to do much of their shopping, socializing, or banking in person due to strict anti-virus measures, Greeks turned to the internet during the country’s six-month lockdown.
The study of internet use during the lockdown in Greece involved over 10,000 participants, including children and the elderly, from all across the country.
According to data collected, the vast majority, 96%, of Greece’s population aged 13 to 74 use the internet often, and an estimated 96% to 92% of all respondents indicated that they surf the web every single day.
Amongst those aged 55 to 64, 90% use the worldwide web on a regular basis.
Internet use among older people in Greece increases
Perhaps most surprisingly, there was a dramatic uptick in internet use among older Greeks, who are notoriously technology-averse.
Over 70% of those aged 65 to 74 in Greece are active on the internet, the study showed.
On the other end of the age spectrum, Greek children aged five to 12 frequently surf the web also, with 91% of respondents stating that they use the internet on a regular basis.
Nearly all, or 97%, of slightly-older Greek children, those who are 10 to 12 years of age, actively use the internet in their everyday lives.
The influence of technology and the internet on the lives of Greeks is now quite prominent.
A total of 90% of respondents indicated that they owned and used a smartphone, allowing them to access the web from anywhere that they have an internet connection.
In 2019, just 82% of Greeks had a smartphone.
According to the study, 87% of Greeks use the internet primarily on their cellphones, and 81% access the web on their phones every day.
78% of Greeks active on social media
The increased internet use in Greece means that more Greeks are also present on social media, with eight in ten, or 78%, of the respondents indicating that they have a profile on at least one social media platform.
Slightly less, 72%, of Greeks are active on social media every day.
Citing convenience and safety during the pandemic, seven in ten, or 68%, of those aged 18 to 54 in Greece have made at least one purchase online during the lockdown.
This is a dramatic increase from the just 52% who had shopped online in 2019.
Gender disparities in internet access
Despite expanding use of the internet in Greece, many people in the country lack access to the essential service, especially women.
According to data released by the European Union’s “Women in Digital Scoreboard 2020” in December of 2020, one in four Greek women did not use the internet at all in 2019.
In all of Europe, just one in ten women had not used the internet during the same year.
As the internet has become a fundamental part of everyday life for almost all of us, those who lack technological skills or access to the internet are shut out from many educational and employment opportunities.
According to the Women in Digital Scoreboard, just 18% of ICT specialists in Europe are female, and in Greece, women make up just 16% of the workforce in the field of technology.
This trend seems to be shifting in Greece, however, as 14.5% of Greek women now hold a degree in STEM fields, just above the European average of 14.3%
On average, 56% of European women have at least basic technological skills, while only 49% of Greek women possess the same capabilities, in comparison to 52% of Greek men.
Just 22% of Greek women are able to handle technology above what is considered a basic level. In all of Europe, 31% of women have similar technological skills.
While a majority of European women, 65%, conducted their banking online last year, just 36% of Greek women, compared to 45% of Greek men, used this type of service in 2019.
Although Greece lags behind the European averages in terms of women and technology, the country has made vast improvements in the past ten years. In 2009, approximately 60% of Greek women had never even used the internet.