Seniors Are Fastest Growing Social Media Users

| August 14, 2013

Latest research shows that 72% of U.S. adults who are online use social media

Adult use of social networking sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram has grown quickly, from 8% in 2005 to 72% today, according to the Pew Research Center. The fastest growing population since 2008 are adults over 30, but the most rapidly growing age group is, by far, over 65.

active adult social media users chart 2005 - 2010

Source: Pew Research Center

This makes sense in 2 ways: First, the most rapidly growing demographic is seniors, so much of the growth can be attributed to adult users getting older. And second, more seniors are getting on the Internet for the social and learning benefits. Recent studies indicate that social media can improve mood and reduce depression, as well as increase cognitive ability in seniors.

Some of the growth in adult use of social media is also due to the expanding use of mobile devices like tablets and smart phones, in part because of the low-cost options, and a phenomenon I call “hand me ups.” In the OASIS Connections programs used by libraries and other partner organizations, many older adults are coming to learn how to use devices that their kids or grandchildren have given them after upgrading.

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Category: Aging, News & Advocacy, Technology

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