A Pew Research Center study shows internet usage is a growing trend for those age 65 and up. In fact, usage increased a whopping 150% for older adults from 2009 to 2011 and continues to grow.
For many, the internet has helped reduce isolation, loneliness, and other depressive symptoms that can unexpectedly hit during retirement years, studies have found.
Some of the areas that have seen the fastest rate of growth in recent years include older adults’ participation in communication and entertainment activities online—especially in using social network sites such as Facebook.
Major Trends For Older Adults Using The Internet
- While the youngest generations are still significantly more likely to use social network sites, the fastest growth has come from internet users 74 and older: social network site usage for these older adults has quadrupled since 2008, from 4% to 16%.
- The percentage of all adult internet users who watch video online jumped 14 points in two years, from 52% in May 2008 to 66% in May 2010.
- 51% of all online adults listen to music online, compared with 34% the last time this question was asked, in June 2004. While Millennials used to be by far the most avid listeners, Gen Xers and Younger Boomers are catching up.
- As of May 2010, 53% of online adults have used a classified ads website such as Craigslist, up from 32% in September 2007.
Source: Pew Research Center
Additionally, searching for health information, an activity that was once the primary domain of older adults, is now the third most popular online activity for all internet users 18 and older.
Social Media Encourages Engagement For Older Adults
The internet, specifically social media, is a great way to socialize and stay connected with family and friends on a regular basis.
A Pew study found 46% of online seniors use social networking sites such as Facebook, and these social network adopters have more persistent social connections with the people they care about. While nearly 81% of older adults who use social networking sites say they socialize with others on a daily or near-daily basis, only 63% of non-users make these same daily connections.
The internet and social media may just be the outlet you need to engage with others and connect with those you love on a regular basis.