Grandma on Facebook? Why the Elderly Are Embracing Social Media.

Nowadays it seems like everyone is using social media, especially Facebook! Facebook used to only be for college students to connect with their friends and share pictures, but in the past few years it has opened up and been embraced by the general population. It has become popular with the elderly not only because it lets them keep in touch with family and friends, but also to seek support for chronic conditions and issues. Odd Fellows has its own facebook page that we use to share information and events with our community, please take a look! Biz Report recently did an article (written by Helen Leggatt) on the use of social media by the elderly that gives some really interesting facts that might make you consider starting a Facebook account of your own (if you don’t already have one!).

Friends, family and health issues lure elderly to Facebook

If online kids thought that having their parents hanging out on their social networks was embarrassing and limiting, then they’re probably not too happy about their grandparents getting in on the act, too. New research has found a dramatic increase in the number of older social networking users.

While users of all age groups flood to Facebook and other social networking and media destinations, the demographic growing the fastest is those age 50 and over.

While the percentage of social networking users age 18 to 29 rose from 76% to 86% in the year to May, 2010, the number of users age 50 and over almost doubled – rising a whopping 88% from 22% to 42%.

This was even higher for older seniors. Usage among those over the age of 65 grew 100% from 13% in April 2009 to 26% in May 2010. “Young adults continue to be the heaviest users of social media, but their growth pales in comparison with recent gains made by older users,” said the report’s author, Mary Madden, Senior Research Specialist for the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

What attracts older generations to social networking? According to the survey of over 2,250 U.S. adults many log on to keep in touch with family and friends while others look for people from their past or seek support for a chronic illness.

The survey also found older adults taking to other status update media such as Twitter. While just 5% of Internet users ages 50 to 64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools.

Recent research from online gaming site Roiworld claims to illustrate clear signs of “Facebook Fatigue” among younger users. In particular, many were leaving the social networking site because their parents had joined (16%) or they thought there were too many older people using the site (14%).

This article is from Biz, please visit their site to read some more amazing articles!


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