Seniors Love Twitter, Too!
Grandmas don’t tweet — at least, that’s what most marketers assume. However, new research suggests the digital tide is starting to turn for American seniors. In fact, their online engagement has skyrocketed across all platforms in the last few years.
Although seniors remain the least technologically adaptive population group, the internet has truly become an educational and informational source for everyone. According to Pew Research Center, 67% of adults ages 65 and older use the internet. As a matter of fact, 51% have high-speed internet at home. To put that broadband to good use, seniors are investing in powerful modern devices. Today, roughly one in three seniors own tablets and one in five own e-readers. And among the 88% of seniors who have cell phones, nearly half own smartphones.
Seniors are also catching on to the social media revolution. After all, Twitter and Facebook have become reliable, readily accessible places to connect with grandkids, children, and other relatives. While the majority of seniors are still hesitant to sign up, 45% of Americans under 75 reported using social networking sites.
Of course, many seniors admitted feeling uncomfortable and unfamiliar with modern technology. More than any other age demographic, this group faces unique and pressing challenges in the Digital Age. Health problems and handicaps, for example, can make new devices hard to manipulate. Access to training is another common obstacle for seniors. Yet, most seniors do believe in the potential and positive impact of technology. More and more, computer classes are being offered at senior centers supported by government and non-profit organizations. Cognitively and emotionally, internet proficiency does wonders for the aging mind.
For Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, the ability to instantly access educational and informational content is exciting – liberating, even. Using the internet primarily as a research tool, they can look up how-to tutorials, visit government websites, and manage financial resources online. If given the skills and access to do so, seniors can prove loyal and engaging followers. So move over, Millennials. You’re not the only “digital generation” now.