While some may believe social media use is exclusive to the younger set, recent statistics prove otherwise. Fast Company magazine has reported that people aged 55 to 64 are the fastest growing demographic on Twitter, with use in that age group increasing by 79% since 2012. In the same time period, use by that age group has grown 46% on Facebook and 56% on Google+. A 2014 Pew Research Internet Project study found that 6 out of every 10 senior citizens are now online. Of those, 71% report they go online daily or almost every day, and 11% report using the internet three to five times per week. It seems that, quite rapidly, senior citizens are learning there are a wide variety of benefits to social media use.
First and foremost, social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with others. This can be especially crucial for those with limited mobility, or who have relatives outside of a comfortable traveling distance. From the comfort of their own homes, seniors can keep up with their grandchildren’s latest achievements, locate a long-lost friend from college, or connect with new people who share common interests.
Social media is also an endless source entertainment. These sites contain an enormous array of online games which can be played both individually and with others. Additionally, they are a great way to discover books and periodicals of interest. They can even be a gateway to rediscovering some favorite old TV shows or films which are now available for streaming.
A third highlight of social media is that it can serve as a major information source. In addition to highlighting current news articles, social media sites can be a repository for ideas pertaining to hobbies, the latest celebrity headlines, and products and services of interest. Furthermore, it can help seniors find access to live chat options for customer service, which in some cases can be easier and much less stressful than trying to reach a human being through a seemingly endless phone tree.
Social media sites can also become a source of revenue for senior citizens. For example, some sites provide ways for people to sell their arts and crafts creations, while others may provide the opportunity for freelance writing. Seniors still employed full time will quickly discover social media can be a great way to promote your business and connect with both existing and potential clients.