Seniors Are Now the Fastest-Growing Social Media Adopters

Seniors are starting to catch up with younger Americans in their use of communication technology and social media. Older Americans now belong to the fastest-growing group of social media adopters, though they still use the internet and social media less often than people in younger age groups who adopted social media earlier do.

A study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project found that 59 percent of Americans age 65 or older are internet users, an increase of six percentage points in one year. Also, 77 percent of seniors report owning a cellphone (an increase from 69 percent in 2012).

Despite the growing adoption rates of communication technology among the elderly, a large number of older Americans still remain remain relatively unconnected to online life when compared to the population as a whole. Among all adults, 86 percent are internet users and 91 percent have cellphones.

Social media displays this gap clearly. Forty-six percent of online seniors, or 27 percent of the total population of older Americans, use social networking sites such as Facebook — compared to 73 percent of adult internet users or 63 percent of all adults.

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