Although older adults (unsurprisingly) use new technologies at a lower rate compared to the general population, Internet adoption by seniors is steadily increasing. According the latest report from Pew Research, six in 10 adults age 65 or over now use the Internet. The increase in users in that age group has generally kept pace with Internet adoption rates of the rest of the population.
The number of older adults who use mobile devices has increased as well. Seventy-seven percent of seniors now report using a cell phone, up from 69 percent in 2012. While smartphones are not popular with this age group, tablets and eBook readers are. Among the general population, smartphones are more widely used compared to tablets and e-readers. But among those 65 and older, those who own a tablet or e-reader outpace those who own smartphones.
Over one-quarter of seniors are on social networks. That’s less than half of all older adults who are online. Those who do use social media are more likely to socialize with other people regardless of the medium.
Here are some other takeaways from the report:
- Older adults who aren’t online are more skeptical of the benefits of Internet access.
- Most seniors who do use the Internet go online on a daily basis.
- Affluent and well-educated seniors use the Internet much more than those with lower income and less education.