Older Adults Embracing Twitter And Social Media

More people over 50 using social media

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Social networking use among Internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled from 22 percent in April 2009 to 42 percent in May 2010, according to a new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Social networking use among Internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88 percent over the past year, from 25 percent in April 2009 to 47 percent in May of 2010.  During the same period, use among those 65 and older grew 100 percent from 13 to 26 percent. By comparison, social networking use among users ages 18-29 grew by 13 percent from 76 percent to 86 percent.


“Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” explains Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist for the


Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of the report.

“Email is still the primary way that older users maintain contact with friends, families and colleagues, but many older users now rely on social network platforms to help manage their daily communications.”

The use of social platforms like Twitter has also grown among those ages 50-64. One in ten Internet users 50 and older now say they user Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

Other highlights from the report include:

*Just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, and 11% now say they use these tools.

*On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

*Among adults ages 65 and older, 13% log on to social networking sites on a typical day, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

“Social media has the potential to bridge generational gaps. There are few other spaces—online or offline—where tweens, teens, sandwich generation members, grandparents, friends and neighbors regularly intersect and communicate across the same network,” said Madden.


Older Adults Embracing Twitter And Social Media
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  • http://twitter.com/mTapHi David

    This is great news ! It means that the social web is for everyone which means more opportunities for everyone involved in the space.Just look at all the possible niches.
    Can’t see my mother Tweeting anytime soon though !

  • http://archerfiddleschool.yolasite.com/ Jerald

    With the internet, on should always remember what it was like when the telephone came into use. Most believed it to be a toy at first, but when it revolutionized communication, it created opportunities that were undreamed of in so many ways–it literally changed lives and society itself. The internet offers a great way for humans to communicate. Televisions are quickly going into extinction, as now one can control what they want to see or hear.

    It is good that older adults can embrace technology and possible contribute that which a younger person could never contribute credibly: life experiences and wisdom. Many older persons I know just avoid the technology, as they believe it to be too difficult. After I show them, it is not so mysterious anymore, and some go and buy laptops, but not sure how they work. It is alright, as I am always eager to show them. They need not be maverick typists, but the keyboard is usually the greatest detriment to the older person in learning the computer. Skype again proves its great worth in situations where one finds typing impossible. They are amazed at the voice activation abilities of some machines. It is like seeing a Star Trek episode come to reality for them.

    In nursing homes, for some patients the use of a computer (if they are able and still mentally sound) is becoming very commonplace. It allows many who would not have any company to at least talk (or communicate in some way) with someone who will listen. This is a very important thing for some who may not have anyone to talk to. One could learn a great deal just by listening.

  • http://www.reachthemonline.com Laurie Owen

    I’m over 60, and I’m a Social Media Manager. I thought you might find this blog post interesting. It is the first of several articles on the subject. Laurie Owen


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