When surveyed in February of 2012, there were only a third of Americans over age 65 using the internet. But in this latest research, that number jumped significantly to 53%. Interestingly enough, the study also noted that now 69% of adults over 65 own a cell phone, up from 57% in 2010. (No word on how many of them have smart phones.)
Most interesting of all is the fact that once these senior adults get online, the internet quickly becomes a regular part of their lives – in fact, a daily part of their lives. According to the study:
For most online seniors, internet use is a daily fixture in their lives. Among internet users age 65 and older, 70% use the internet on a typical day. (Overall, 82% of all adult internet users go online on an average day.)
Not only are seniors using the internet, they are joining social media in droves (although email is still the most preferred method of communication online):
Social networking site use among seniors has grown significantly over the past few years: From April 2009 to May 2011, for instance, social networking site use among internet users age 65 and older grew 150%, from 13% in 2009 to 33% in 2011. As of February 2012, one third (34%) of internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook, and 18% do so on a typical day. Among all adult internet users, 66% use social networking sites (including 86% of those ages 18-29), with 48% of adult internet users making use of these sites on a typical day.
Forget shuffleboard, needlepoint, and bingo. Web logs, usually considered the domain of alienated adolescents and home for screeds from middle-aged pundits, are gaining a foothold as a new leisure-time option for senior citizens.
“It’s too easy to sit in your own cave and let the world go by, eh?” said Vancouver’s Ray Sutton, the 73-year-old Oldest Living Blogger. “It keeps the old head working a little bit so you’re not just sitting there gawking at TV.”There’s Dad’s Tomato Garden Journal, Dogwalk Musings, and, of course, the Oldest Living Blogger.
This is good news for some of us on the, er, elder side of mom blogging (I’m 44). So, what do you think? Are you parents likely to start blogging?