Study Reveals Trends in Seniors’ Internet, Social Media Usage

A keyboard showing well-known social media brands AgeTech West partnered with Link-age Connect on age-stratified study of older adult technology habits.

Responses from a total of 1,778 older adults from part of AgeTech West’s aging service provider network (LeadingAge CA, OR, WA) and Link-Age Connect’s provider network show that the digital age is having a greater impact on senior lifestyles and habits than generally thought.

Conducted as a re-field to a Pew Internet Project study, the Link-age Connect-led research found several demographic and internet usage trends among older adults, comprised of older adults between the ages of 65 and 103. The study revealed that 67 percent of this demographic is online and half of those are active on social media channels.

Specific findings from the study include:

  • 67 percent of the 65-plus population is online
  • 35 percent of online older adults are using social media
  • Roughly 50 percent of online users between the ages of 65 and 75 use social media
  • There are no skews in education level or household income among older adults using social media
  • 72 percent of the non-online population indicated they were “not at all” interested in becoming an email or internet user

What’s more, when results are stratified by 5-year age increments, the study reveals that among older adults online, nearly half (48%) of 70-74 year olds use social media as do 38% of 80-84 year olds, and more than a quarter (28%) of 96-99 year olds!

*Special thanks to AgeTech Premier Provider Partners ABHOW, Eskaton, the Hearthstone, Pacific Retirement Services, and Tacoma Lutheran Retirement Community for disseminating the survey among their service settings. This served as a “beta test” of AgeTech’s ability to build a “senior survey network” among residents/clients of the West Coast LeadingAge memberships. Given the strong response rate, AgeTech plans to conduct more senior market research through the network.

Click here on the link to download the Social Media Study summary report.

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