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An active 'silver surfer' from Ireland, finalist of the 2012 eInclusion awards

27/06/2012 An active 'silver surfer' from Ireland, finalist of the 2012 eInclusion awards

Angela Gallagher, a 60+ active-ager from Ireland, is one of the runners-up of the 2012 eInclusion awards, handed out by the European Commission on June 22nd at the Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels.

Angela’s keen involvement with digital technologies was selected by the jury as one of the three finalists in the I am Part of IT personal stories/big organisations category. "The online world is a godsend to those of us who find ourselves living alone,” she says.

Angela believes that the social media revolution is perhaps more relevant for older generations than to any other. Living in a rural community, with limited opportunities for interaction, her life has been transformed by becoming e-inclusive.  “Being able to use the internet has changed my life. In the last two years I have learned how to write a Blog and use Facebook and Twitter. I am now connected with so many people around the world, I no longer feel isolated.”

Through self-learning and perseverance, and with the online technical support of her son, she is now part of an international e-community. She has formed new friendships and renewed contact with friends from decades ago.

A high point in her “e-career” was the nomination for, and subsequent winning of, the Social Networking category in the 2011 Silver Surfer awards run by Google and Age Action, the national charity for older people. She has an established and well-read Blog, “The Silver Voice”, with over 60 blog posts on in the past 14 months that have been read by over 16,000 people. Recently she has ventured into the exciting world of Twitter.

Running since 2008, the eInclusion awards were established by the European Commission in order to discover organisations and individuals across Europe who champion new technology and harness the potential of the Internet as a means of improving prospects, increasing employability and meeting today’s complex social and economic challenges.