Why Grandma Needs to Use Social Media

  • cynthia_contini

 

There is no question that social media has become an integral part of most people’s lives and with the move to tablets and smartphones the popularity of social media has grown exponentially.

The senior population has begun to adopt social media but is definitely one demographic group that lags.

The Pew Research Center has posted some interesting and important data from 2013:

  • 59% of Americans over 65 had online access.
  • 27% of older adults use social networking sites such as Facebook.
  • Usage of social networking sites by older Americans has been steadily increasing in recent years but has not yet reached majority status—among older adults who use the internet, 46% use social networking sites such as Facebook, well below the national average of 73% of adult internet users.
  • Older women are more likely than older men to use social networking sites. Half (52%) of female internet users ages 65+ are social networking site adopters, compared with 39% of older men.
  • Age within the senior population is important. Some 54% of internet users ages 65-69 use social networking sites, compared with just 27% of internet users ages 80 and older.

The most important and most telling of all the data Pew Research Center shared is the following:

  •  81% of older adults who use social networking sites say they socialize with others on a daily or near-daily basis.
  • 71% of older adults who go online but do not use social networking sites say they socialize with others on a daily or near daily basis
  •  63%. of older adults who do not use internet or social media say they socialize with others on a daily or near daily basis.

“This correlation between social networking site use and increased socialization with others persists even when we control for common demographic factors such as age, income, or geographic area of residence.”

Social networking sites such as Facebook give seniors a chance to share in family and friend’s lives on a level they may not have otherwise. The findings of the Pew Center shows that seniors who have social media access enables them to be more social on other levels. Giving seniors the tools and training to be online and social is something we should make a priority to help combat the isolation and loneliness so prevalent in our golden years.

Read the full report here:  http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/