Seniors are Embracing the Internet and Social Media

Have you ever logged on to your Facebook profile to discover your mother or grandmother has sent you a friend request? Seniors in today’s society are more adventurous with the internet and social media than ever before. As Facebook, Twitter, email and blogs become more popular other forms of communication become more obsolete; seniors are embracing social media as a form of communication and networking.

An Increase in Seniors on the Internet:

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center in 2010, there were 76 percent of people ages 56-64 (older boomers), 58 percent of people ages 65-73 (silent generation) and 30 percent of people ages 74 and higher (G.I. generation) using the internet in some capacity. The top three uses for the internet for seniors ages 56-73 is watching videos, using social networking sites and sending instant messages.

The number one reason for the 21 percent of people 18 and older who are not online is that they are simply not interested. The second and third reasons are they do not have a computer or it is too expensive.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, twitter and MySpace are dominated by the younger generations but interests in these sites are growing with the older population. Popularity of social media grew 34 percent with older boomers but the 74 and older population quadrupled from 4 percent to 16 percent of the oldest generation using social media.

Ramona Stamper, a 67-year-old grandmother of two young adults said, “I have to have Facebook to keep up with my grandkids’ lives.”A report by All-Assisted Living Homes found that 40 percent of seniors use social media to connect with family and friends, 30 percent to share photos, 20 percent for social gaming and 10 percent for games and contests. Streaming music continues to be the least popular use of the internet for seniors and interest decreased 2 percent for the G.I. Generation.

[infographic by Assisted Living Facilities]