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Seniors, Social Media, and Technology: Facts & Figures

Are you too old for social media? Don’t let anyone tell you that. While seniors may not be as tech savvy as younger folks, this does not mean they are incompetent. With the increase in use of technology this generation, there has been a substantial increase in seniors using social media and applications as mobile devices. Seniors in general, are now a demographic grosslly overlooked on social media. Those 65 years and older are changing: they are living longer, are more active, and becoming increasingly literate.

Social Media

social

  • According to the “Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project,” adults 50 and older have nearly doubled social networking use among internet users from 22% to 42%.
  • Nearly 2/3 of 50-64 year olds and 43% of those aged 65+ are now on Facebook.
  • Facebook is the most popular social media outlet for seniors.
  • 43% of all parents and grandparents are potentially online trying to ‘friend’ their extended family are using social media sites. (This explains the spike in Twitter use in 2012 among 18-29 year olds)
  • Only 17% of 30-49 year olds, 13% of 50 to 64 year olds and 5% of 65 and older use Twitter.
  • 13% of adults 50 years and older are already using Twitter and estimate this figure to only continue rising.
  • Use by 50 to 64 year olds has seen a tenfold increase (6%-60%) since Feb 2005, while the 65 and older group, who didn’t come to social media until August 2006, are also moving into the social media age.
  • According to forbes.com there are currently 39 million people aged 65 and older using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, making them the fastest growing demographic on these sites.
  • The top 4 online activities for people over 60 are Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and YouTube.

Internet, Apps, Tablets

  • According to a recent study, 78% aged 45-66 and 52% aged 67+ are online. However, internet usage is much less prevalent among adults who are 76+
  • The age group of 45+ averages 19 hours on the internet each week, more than with TV, radio and magazines/newspapers.
  • 82% say YouTube is their preferred online video watching site.
  • The touch screen and convenience of tablets makes it easier to use for seniors. This will allow more opportunities to develop apps geared toward seniors.
  • A UCSF study showed an increase in brain function for older adults (age 60 to 85) after playing the specially designed game, NeuroRacer.
  • Gaming company PopCap (maker of Bejeweled) found that out of over 150 million users, 47% of its users are older than age 50.
  • Seniors who participate in the study showed improvements in cognitive tasks including multitasking, attention, and memory.
  • The benefits include improved decision making, visual recognition, and hand-eye coordination and also buffers against loneliness, which can lead to depression and physical decline.

 

*Some helpful apps to download for seniors: AllRecipes, Well Being Plus, Lumosity, and Words with Friends.

 

Sources: Huffington Post, Pew Internet Surveys, HealthWorks collective, Forbes.com, and openplacement.com

 

 

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