It would be erroneous to believe that the internet is strictly for young people. Although seniors cannot begin to compete with millennials based on internet adoption, recent studies revealed that older adults are now more digitally connected than before – a sharp rise from previous statistics that showed that only 11% of the elderly used the internet in 2000.
Findings have revealed that Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1966) spend an average of 3.8 hours online every day. Furthermore, more than 82% percent of seniors use search engines to obtain information on topics of interest such as sports, health, politics, lifestyle, and entertainment.
Interestingly, a large number of seniors, about 75% of them, use the internet to communicate with their loved ones via emails or social media platforms. Seniors, including those with live in care, are also very much present on social media with about 61% of those aged between 50-59 years active on Facebook and about 18% active Twitter users.
Studies have also shown a connection between educated seniors with higher income rates and higher internet usage rates because they usually own multiple internet-capable devices. Moreover, 62% of the senior group use their smartphones to access emails, 30% make use of their desktop or laptop computers, while the remaining 8% choose tablets.
Therefore, the most popular devices among seniors are smartphones, desktops/laptops, and tablets. The use of gadgets such as wearables, e-readers, and home assistants is far less common in this the age group.
However, not all seniors are keen on internet usage. Around 34% of those older than 65 don’t use the internet at all. Some of the reasons include physical or health challenges that prevent some of them from performing daily activities, others need people to help them through the intricacies of internet usage, while the remainder has altogether quit the internet because of online harassment. As much as 22% of Americans over the age of 50 have experienced some form of internet harassment.
To help you understand the connection of the elderly with digital technology, particularly their relationship with the internet, check out the comprehensive infographic created by MedAlertHelp.org.