In today's connected society, most of us take the World Wide Web for granted, whether we use the internet on our computers, mobiles, tablets or even now, our TVs.
Those who have grown up immersed in home computing and cyberspace over the past 20 years rarely give logging on a second thought, with the technology so ingrained in their daily lives.
But what about the seven million people in the UK who have never used the internet? For them, having the connected world at their fingertips is something alien, despite the many positives it can bring them.
Today marks the start of Spring Online - incorporating Silver Surfer's Day on Thursday - a week-long series of events designed to raise awareness of how the web can benefit the over-50s.
UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox, of lastminute.com fame, said: "Saving money, keeping in touch and reducing feelings of isolation are just a few examples of how the internet can change lives for the better."
Taking that first step though can be hard, which is why Spring Online includes taster sessions up and down the country at libraries, schools, sheltered housing schemes, UK Online Centres, cafes and community groups. You can find a list of them at www.springonline.org.
Charities like Age UK and UK Online are also involved and aim to encourage younger people to help older relatives and neighbours by showing them the ropes.
They say the chance to chat to others, get in contact with family overseas, research family history and even enjoy webcam conversations with grandchildren through the likes of Skype are all elements that can benefit older people's lives and in many cases alleviate feelings of loneliness.
Emma Solomon, Managing Director of Digital Unite, said: "Access to computers and the internet can enhance people’s health and wellbeing – and open up whole new worlds.
"If you know your way around a computer, why not volunteer to show someone else how to do it? Often, all people need is someone to get them started, show them the basics and make it fun."
David Mortimer, Head of Digital Inclusion at Age UK, said nearly six in 10 pensioners have never been online. He added: "It’s therefore really important that these people are made aware of the variety of benefits that the internet can offer. The public, private and third sectors must all be involved in this process, as well as in giving people the skills and opportunity to use the internet in the first place."
But with the advent of touchscreen tablets and intuitive apps, experts believe we're primed for an explosion in use among the older generation.
Mike Bradley, a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, has led research into issues over-50s have using digital technology.
He explained: "For older people new devices such as touchscreen tablets potentially offer a much easier learning experience to get online and send emails.
"However, these still contain design features that can negatively impact the older person’s user experience."
Mr Bradley cites confusing icons such as the '+' sign to indicate adding a new function and says it would be better replaced with factual text commands, while specific terms such as labelling a web browser 'Internet' would improve the ability to understand and engage.
He believes these issues are simple to fix and has called on device manufacturers to look more closely at how they can improve the digital experience for a different set of consumers who aren't so tech savvy.
He added: "Resolving these issues would be an effective first step to transform the user experience for many older people, and give them the benefits of digital engagement without the steep and long learning curve that PC use requires."
But what about the millions of silver surfers who do regularly log on. Well, according to broadband provider Plusnet, once they're online, they're giving their children and grandchildren a run for their money.
A recent survey it carried out found 72% of over 55s believe they understand basic internet and technology jargon including abbreviations such as LOL and terms including bandwidth and router. This compared to 61% of youngsters.
According to Plusnet, more than 220,000 people over 55 have signed up to Facebook in the past three months, compared to 300,000 18-24s who have left.
Among the most engaged activities for older surfers were sending emails and shopping online.
But silver surfers are also increasingly using the internet for catch-up TV and daily money-saving deals.
Valerie Rowe, 73, recently took her first steps online with a course at her local library in Cornwall. It was being run by the BT Get IT Together campaign.
The partially-sighted pensioner was worried how well she'd be able to adapt to the internet due to her eyesight but was shown how different controls can increase text font sizes. Other accessibility options online include the ability for the computer to read out the words on a page.
Valerie said: "Finding out that I would be able to have a go and read the screen of the computer was exhilarating. I can now manage my bills online, which has made life much easier."
She also now uses Skype and email to keep in touch with her son in Thailand and her sister in South Africa.
Valerie added: "It’s lovely. It’s like being in a room with my family. It feels like I’m speaking to them in person and I feel that I have grown closer to them. I can now see my granddaughter growing up."
NEED HELP ONLINE?
1) Gransnet's technology area is packed full of useful tips and guides including one right now to help understand and enjoy Twitter or Facebook.
2) Learn more about the web and how to use a computer online at http://learn.go-on.co.uk/ The site is run by UK Online, who have a number of centres across Britain where lessons are available. There's a postcode checker on the site to find the nearest one.
3) Digital Unite's website has a whole host of tutorials covering everything from social networking and blogging to internet security. It's thriving online community provides help, feedback and assistance too.
4) Age UK helps older people get online with advice and IT training classes. Anyone interested can call 0800 165 65 65 or more information can be found by friends and relatives on their behalf at www.ageuk.org.uk/it.