Government report predicts those without a social media presence "could appear unusual or even suspicious" in future

A Government report, unveiled yesterday, has suggested that the spread of social media is likely to mean that elderly people could be ‘disenfranchised’ in the future.

Sir John Beddington, the Government’s chief scientist, said during BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme: “The generation born, who will have grown up with social networking and with a digital age, is starting to turn into adulthood and at the same time you have an older and more elderly population, which arguably could become partly disfranchised."

The Foresight Programme report also found that the amount of personal information members of the public are putting online redefines how people see themselves, with it being suggested that in the future refusal to engage in social networking over the internet "could appear unusual or even suspicious".

It was suggested that social media, the spread of online personal information and hyper-connectivity will help influence identity in the future.

One idea put forward in the report was to provide lifelong education, in order to keep as many people as possible employable and engaged.

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