People who lack confidence online can now access a wide range of tools and resources 

THEY say it’s good to talk – and that’s certainly something people have been doing more of during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether that’s been through video conference calls or through virtual Zoom quizzes, people have taken to technology like never before to keep in touch during these difficult times.

A survey for BT – looking at people’s online habits during the pandemic – suggests that people have spent more time speaking to family and friends online since the beginning of the outbreak.

One-quarter of Scots surveyed (25%) say they are now spending more time speaking to family and friends online than they were before the start of the pandemic.
Socialising through online quizzes was also one of the big phenomena of the first lockdown, with a quarter of Scots (25%) surveyed saying they’ve taken part in a virtual quiz since March.

Another part of our lives that’s seen a big shift online is the weekly shop, with more than one-fifth (23.3%) of Scots saying they are now more likely to do their weekly food shop online than they were before the start of the coronavirus outbreak.



Scots also report turning to streaming services to keep entertained. 

Ten per cent said they had signed up to more online streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ since the start of the crisis.

While the pandemic has accelerated an existing trend towards people doing more things online – like keeping in touch with family and friends – it has also forced many to get to grips with online technology for the first time.

Although most people are now confident using basic apps and online services, there are still many who struggle with basic online skills. 

The Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2020 estimates that nine million people in the UK still can’t use the internet or their device without help, and 4.7 million people don’t have any digital skills at all. 

The pandemic has intensified this, leaving people without online skills or access even more isolated than the rest of the population. Digital skills can be a lifeline for people, and even more so at the moment.

BT has played a role in helping improve basic online skills and making sure that everyone has the confidence to stay connected during this period. BT Skills for

Tomorrow is a free programme designed to help everyone, from families, school children and teachers, to parents, businesses and jobseekers, or anyone who needs help getting online or advice to get the most out of technology.

The “home life” section includes a range of advice to help people get to grips with online basics like making video calls and sending emails, as well as keeping safe online and using online public services. 

In April, BT teamed up with some well-known faces such as Marcus Rashford, David Walliams and Dragons’ Den star Peter Jones to help teach a range of vital digital skills, including getting to grips with the messaging service WhatsApp, home schooling, tips for getting your business online, and how to use online services to help with physical and mental wellbeing.

The three-week campaign, in partnership with ITV, saw Rylan Clark-Neal, Fearne Cotton and Clare Balding, among others, feature in 12 bitesize lessons delivered twice a day during ITV ad break takeovers.

For people who want to improve their online skills – or who want to help others make the most of the online world – a range of tools and resources is available online now. 

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