OpenPlacement Blog

Seniors and Technology (INFOGRAPHIC)

Seniors and technology to some are like water and oil - they just don't mix.  Though, times have certainly changed and now more than ever seniors and technology do go together! Today marks the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web (read more here) and in honor of 25 years of the super highway we have put together our very own infographic highlighting seniors and technology.

Although seniors may not be as tech savvy as the younger generation, this does not mean that they are inept. With the increase in use of technology in general, there has been a substantial increase in seniors using social media and applications on mobile devices.

Seniors and Technology

Seniors and Technology – Key Facts:

  • Social Media

    • The graph displays the percentage of adult internet users by age in the United States who use social networking sites. Each color represents a certain year in which the data was taken (May 2008 – Grey, May 2010 – Orange, May 2013 – Blue). As you can see there was a substantial increase in internet users on social media sites in the age groups 50 to 64 years old and 65+ since May 2008 to May 2013.

    • According to a recent survey study through "The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project," adults 50 and older have nearly doubled social networking use among internet users from 22% to 42%.

    • Nearly two-thirds of 50-64 year olds and 43% of those aged 65+ are now on Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social media outlet for seniors.

    • 43% of all parents and grandparents are potentially online trying to ‘friend' their extended family and are using social media sites (this may explain the spike in Twitter use in 2012 among 18 to 29 year olds).

    • Though, very few older adults are Twitter users. Only 17% of 30 to 49 year olds, 13% of 50 to 64 year olds and 5% of 65 and older use Twitter.

    • Use by 50 to 64 year olds has seen a ten-fold increase (6% to 60%) since February 2005, while the 65 and older, who didn't come to social media until August 2006, are also moving into the social media age.

  • Internet, Apps, Tablets

    • According to a recent survey study, 78% aged 45 to 66 and 52% aged 67+ are online.

    • However internet usage is much less prevalent among adults who are 76+.

    • The age group of 45+ averages 19 hours on the Internet each week, more than with TV, radio and magazines/newspapers.

    • 82% say YouTube is their preferred online video watching site.

    • The touch screen and convenience of tablets make it easier to use for seniors. This will allow more opportunities to develop apps geared towards seniors

    • A UCSF study showed an increase in brain function for older adults (age 60 to 85) after playing the specially designed game, NeuroRacer.

    • Gaming company PopCap (maker of Bejeweled) found that out of over 150 million users, 47% of its users are older than age 50.

    • Seniors who participated in the study showed improvements in cognitive tasks including multitasking, attention, and memory.

    • The benefits are far ranging and include improved decision-making, visual recognition, and hand-eye coordination and also buffers against loneliness, which can lead to depression and physical decline.

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Sources used:

Please leave any comments, suggestions, and/or advice if you have any insight in the comments section below.  Share this graphic if you found it resourceful and make sure to check out and share our previous infographics on Dementia in the United Statesthe Cost of Senior LivingLong-Term Caregivers, and California Hospitals – A Comparison of the Top 3 as well!