When talking about Internet adoption, seniors are often seen as trailing the mainstream. Now a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project shows a significant increase in Internet use among older Americans. Here are a few highlights:
Over the past several years, there has been little increase in the number of American adults age 65 and older who were online – until now. This study shows that as of April 2012, more than half of adults in this age group are now online. The study also revealed that online seniors are active users of the Internet, with 70% using the Internet on a typical day. However, users who are 76 and older are still slow adopters, with only 34% of this group going online.
Today, seven in ten seniors own a cell phone - up from 56% in May 2010. Of course, this figure still lags behind under age groups, particularly when compared with the 95% of 18 to 29 year olds who own a cell phone.
Seniors use of social networking sites has also shown explosive growth – soaring 150% among Internet users age 65 and older from April 2009 to May 2011. By February 2012, Pew found that 34% of this demographic connects to social networking sites such as Facebook – with 18% of this audience engaging on a typical day.
Overall, this study shows promising developments in the adoption and use of the Internet by America’s seniors. Greater technological education combined with a deeper understanding of broadband’s benefits will only improve these numbers -- something we can all support.