Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Wasn’t all that long ago was it when your afternoon pub visit consisted of friendly bar chat over a pint or three with a fug redolent of Woodbines never too far away? All that has changed though now and if the other day is anything to go by – not necessarily for the better.

You’re just as likely to come across your “silver surfer” in the pub these days with their toplaps and web surfing as where they should be – that is at home or in a library. Over 40m Britons use the internet regularly and people over 50yrs old now make up more than a quarter of those users.

 The UK internet audience increased from 36.9m in May 2009 to 38.8m in May 2010. 

Experts say the rise is thought to be because older people are becoming increasingly more comfortable with the internet. In addition, companies are beginning to set up specialist sites targeted at users over 50 in areas such as health, fashion, travel and cooking.

Elderly internet surfers accounted for 53% of the overall increase in UK users and men over 50 were responsible for 38% of this growth numbering 722,000. According to the latest figures more than 12 million people over 50 now regularly use the internet.

Well that’s all well and good – but is the pub really the proper place to do your interweb surfing?

“Can I join you, mate?” 

“Well yes – but don’t put your paper there on top of my modem!”

A silver surfer taking up room...

Of course, I blame it all on this free Wi-Fi malarkey and the increasing number of public access hotspots available in pubs.

“Where’s that noise coming from?”

“Oh, I’ve got email! Yes... look - it’s from my new friend Jasper – he’s coming to see me with Quentin tomorrow. Hmmmm – will need to go to Tesco’s later and get something nice for their tea! I can do it online though!”

“Jasper? Who’s he? How long have you known him?”

“Errrrrmm – 32 minutes – do you want to see his profile on Facebook?”

“What book?”

“Haven’t you ever googled yourself?” 

“Don’t be so disgusting! I wouldn’t tell you if I have!”
It appears though there was nothing more sinister intended than the practice of ego-surfing – that is searching for one's own given name, surname, full name, pseudonym, or screen name on a popular search engine, to see what results appear. I’ve never bothered – I can well imagine what the results would be!

“I’m also trending on Twitter – might get some ideas for tomorrow’s tea!”

“There’s that sound again – it’s your machine, isn’t it?”

“Another email from Jasper – wants to know where to meet up beforehand?”

[Thought to self – wherever it is – be somewhere else!].

“Well I won’t keep you, I can see you’re busy... hope your modem recovers!” 

Just Beer Micropub
Swan & Salmon Yard
32A Castlegate
NG24 1BG
Tel: 07983 993747

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