The importance of the world wide web cannot be downplayed in today’s world. It has revolutionized almost every aspect of life. From how we socialize to how we perform business transactions, almost everything can now be done online.
Now, almost everyone has come to realize that the internet is here to stay; even senior citizens who showed low adoption rates in times past have begun to embrace it. Chances are you’ve received a Facebook friend request from one of your grandparents. Don’t be surprised, statistics show that many of these old ones are now getting connected to the internet. And they use it regularly too.
Today, over 70% of citizens over the age of 65 who have access to the world wide web are making use of it on a daily basis. That isn’t all. They spend at least 27 hours every week surfing online. Senior citizens are embracing the wonder that is the internet at a rapid pace. The percentage of senior citizens who make use of smartphones is 42. That figure was 18 just five years ago.
The adoption of the world wide web among senior citizens reduces with age. Only 59% of seniors aged 65-69 use it. That figure falls to 49% when considering senior citizens aged 70-74. Only 31% of citizens aged 75-79 use smartphones. For citizens over the age of 80, only 17% of that class are avid users of the internet.
The older generation is not that different from the younger generation as regards the internet. They make use of it just like we do. Chief among the activities that they perform online include:
- Watching videos online
- Keeping in touch with family and friends
- Sending and reading emails
- Making use of social media
- Getting health and medical information
- Getting information on personal interests
- Reading the news
- Conducting banking transactions
- Staying updated on political policies
One of the most exciting things the elderly use the web for is social media. This is a positive sign as it confirms the fact that the internet is for everyone. Social media is an important platform where users find news, information, share their daily experiences, and most importantly, connect with family and friends. And the elderly use it to do just that. As internet adoption has grown amongst this age group, so has their use of social media.
Today, over 34% of Americans over the age of 65 have admitted that they make use of social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It might not look like a lot, but it is an increase. In 2013, only 27% of older adults made use of social media platforms on a consistent basis.
The world wide web is no longer the exclusive domain of young people. The elderly are already making use of it. With advances in technology, it is evident that the percentage of senior citizens that use the world wide web is only going to increase.