How The Elderly Are Embracing The Internet
Elderly people are embracing the internet and using it to enrich their lives. Today, some 66% of Americans above the age of 65 and 87% in the 50-64 group use the internet.
But what exactly are the seniors using the internet for?
While email and other online resources to keep in touch with family and friends continue to be a key reason to log on, older men and women are increasingly confident about using the internet for shopping, entertainment, banking and other financial activities, researching online for medical information, and getting themselves up to date with the news.
For people aged 60 and above, sending or reading mails is the most popular online activity for 91% of internet users, followed by using a search engine to find information (70%), checking weather reports and forecasts (61%), and accessing news (58%).
Internet trends in the US reflect those in the western word in general. In the UK, for instance, Office for National Statistics data show that the percentage of Britons aged 65 and above shopping online has trebled in the past decade.
In its infancy the internet did not appear to be a place where the elderly were very comfortable. Barely 14% of seniors used the internet in 2000 in the US. In 2018, baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online. And in the 65+ age group, 70% of internet users log on every day.
On the downside, online harassment is a real concern, with more than one-fifth of internet users aged 50 and above having personally experienced online harassment in some form or the other.
Interestingly, elderly people have still not taken to social media in a very big way. While 61% people in the 50-59 age group use Facebook, the figure drops to 36% in the 60+ group. The 50-59 age group has 18% Twitter users, but only 6% people in the 60+ group use this social networking service.
Social media companies perhaps need to do more to reach out to this segment of the American population.
Curious about more such revealing insights into the online habits of seniors? Then check out this terrific infographic below that was put together by our friends at MedAlertHelp.org.