Social Media and Seniors

social media and seniorsRecent research conducted by the Pew Research Center proves that more than ever, social media usage among adults is on the rise. When it comes to the older population, back in 2010, only 11% of adults aged 65 and older used social media, while a study from 2014 showed that that number had more than tripled, rising to 35%. This is also a huge increase from 2005, when only 2% of seniors were utilizing any social networking sites.

Pew reports that Facebook remains the most popular social networking site, even though its overall growth has slowed in recent years as compared to some newer sites like Instagram and Pinterest. 58% of the entire adult population utilize Facebook, and usage among seniors continues to increase year over year. In fact, 56% of internet users over the age of 65 log on to Facebook daily!

The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors

Seniors today are no longer shying away from technology; instead, they’re more and more often beginning to embrace it. One explanation for the increase in usage on social media sites could be that usage of mobile devices among this demographic is also growing. Or, the older generation is getting introduced to social media sites through the workplace or their children and grandchildren.

Whatever the reason for the increase in usage, there are some definite benefits social media can offer to seniors online, including:

  • Staying connected to loved ones. The most important benefit of social media for seniors is the fact that it allows them a way to stay in touch with friends and family. People are picking up the phone to call one another less often these days, and instead choosing to connect via social media sites. Generations of family can stay connected and engage with each other on a regular basis by checking in on Facebook regularly.
  • Entertainment. Social media offers seniors a variety of ways to stay entertained, from watching video clips of their old favorite shows on YouTube to playing Scrabble with grandchildren via Facebook or other apps.
  • Research and learning opportunities. Social media tools provide a way for seniors to do research about topics that are interesting to them while interacting with others who may be searching for the same information.
  • Family photo and video sharing. One of the best reasons for seniors to use social media is the fact that it offers an instant way to view photos and videos shared by family members. Social media makes sharing new memories simple!
  • Getting discounts on favorite brands. Who doesn’t love a good deal? Many brands offer their fans and followers deals, discounts or online coupons via social media sites.
  • Peace of mind for family members. By checking in regularly on Facebook, for example, seniors can provide their loved ones peace of mind that they are healthy and happy; this is especially important for seniors still in their homes.
  • Engaging in the community. Engaging with others and staying socially active is so important for seniors, offering numerous physical and mental health benefits. Even if you can’t regularly leave your home, social media can provide an easy way to stay engaged with friends and get the social interaction you need.

Are you a senior using social media? If so, what’s your favorite platform?

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