Don’t Be Surprised to See Your Grandparents on Social Media

Pew Research Center found that 34 percent of Americans 65 and older use social networking sites, up from 27 percent in 2013

A new study by Pew Research Center examines increased tech adoption by U.S. adults 65 and over, which, not surprisingly, has also spurred increased social media use by that age group.

Pew found that 34 percent of Americans 65 and older use social networking sites, up from 27 percent in 2013.

Younger senior citizens were more likely to use social media, with Pew finding that 45 percent of those under 75 percent do so, versus 20 percent of those 75 and older.

Pew added that social networking use is common among seniors with some college experience and an annual household income of at least $50,000.

Other findings by Pew included:

  • 42 percent of U.S. adults 65 and older now own smartphones, up sharply from 18 percent in 2013.
  • 67 percent of seniors now use the internet, and more than one-half have access to broadband connections at home.
  • Seniors between the ages of 65 and 69 are nearly twice as likely to go online as those 80 and older (82 percent versus 44 percent), much more likely to have broadband at home (66 percent versus 28 percent) and nearly four times more likely to own smartphones (59 percent versus 17 percent).
  • Seniors living in households with annual incomes of $75,000 or more are much more likely to have home broadband (87 percent) than those living in households with annual incomes below $30,000 (27 percent).

Pew Research Center research associate Monica Anderson, lead author of the report, said in a release announcing its findings:

Older Americans have consistently been late adopters to new digital technology, but seniors are deepening their experiences with various forms of technology. And while older adults may face unique barriers to using and adopting new technologies, once seniors are online, they tend to incorporate the internet and online activities into their everyday lives.

Image courtesy of shironosov/iStock.