People are discussing photos they share on Pinterest, the blog on their travels or the app they are using to track their fitness and exercise schedule. These conversations on technology are not restricted to the local social media clubs; they are hot topics for senior services communities like Laclede Groves near Saint Louis and coffee shops where baby boomers meet.
Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends. Social media savvy seniors and boomers may not be the first to try the newest app or gadget; but are eager to adopt them once the technology is mainstream. Older users on social media are active to discuss and share travel, health, hobbies or search for products, values, and discounts. The social and digital contribution of these connected seniors is impressive! Baby Boomers are 80 million strong and growing.
In just five years, 50% of the US population will be 50+ projects Nielsen Research. (August 2012)
US Boomers’ Internet usage now is impressive:
– 33% of all online users
– 33% of all social media and Twitter
– 33% are heavy internet users.
Currently, there are about 21 million online seniors (those aged over 65 years old) in the United States according to Forrester Research, (June 2012).
Forrester finds 49% of digital seniors in the US are using Facebook.
– 91% of online seniors use email
– 59% have purchased products online in past three months
– 46% send/receive photos by email
– 44% play solo games online
– 24% sign up for coupons/freebies.
Staying connected online and through social media may be a great way for seniors to stay healthy. One recent study shows social media can give older adults a brain boost. Researchers at the University of Arizona taught some seniors, over 65, how to use Facebook and then put them through cognitive and memory tests. The new Facebook users fared 25 percent better on the tests than seniors who did not use the social network.
Boomers were raised in front of the TV and have always embraced media and technology. The size of the screens is now shrinking as they continue to grow with a constantly changing tech landscape that could help keep them young and connected for socializing, shopping and entertaining themselves on social media.