While technology intimidation hinders many older adults from venturing into cyberspace, or even learning how to turn on a computer, a Pew Research Internet Project report states senior citizens’ use of Facebook and other social networks is actually on the rise; at the very least slowly but steadily climbing among those 65 and older.
Based on the stats, it appears senior citizens are becoming less technophobic. Many older individuals are finding it necessary to go online and establish themselves on social networks, like Facebook, in order to keep up with children, grandchildren, and other loved ones.
Six in 10 seniors (~59 percent) now go online (up from 53 percent last year), and just under half have broadband. Among those who go online, 71 percent are daily or near daily users, while 11 percent do so three to five times per week.
It was noted that seniors with a higher socioeconomic status and education either met the general population average, or in some cases exceeded it in regards to internet usage. Senior citizens with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, 90 percent went online. For seniors earning less than $30,000 annually only 39 percent went online.
The use of other tech devices has also increased as 77 percent of senior citizens have cell phones, up from 69 percent in 2012. But only 18 percent of those are smartphone users. This stat has only modestly increased from 11 percent since 2011. Tablets and e-reader use among the elderly also hovers around 18 percent.
The Pew survey determined that 46 percent of senior citizens access Facebook and other social networks too; 52 percent of those women.
Despite the aforementioned increases, seniors continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to adopting the use of technology. And though the use of Facebook and other social networks was seen to be on the rise among seniors, the report did encounter a dramatic drop-off point of online usage among those around age 75.
Twitter – statistically more popular among teens – did not fare well in the social network race, says AllFacebook, as just six percent of online seniors, or three percent or seniors overall, reported using Twitter.
[Photo Credit: Knight Foundation]