Senior Citizens Use the Internet

Aug 31st, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Social networking on the Internet is increasing rapidly and guess which population is responsible for the rise?  Yup… it’s us senior citizens.  A new report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project revealed between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use among internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%–from 25% to 47%.  During the same period, use among those ages 65 and older grew 100%–from 13% to 26%.

Another digital measurement company, comScore, found 27.4 million people age 55 and over used a social networking service in the month of July; that’s up from 16 million a year ago.  Nineteen million of those people used Facebook in the month of July alone.

It’s understandable that seniors are becoming more computer literate.  We have more time available to learn how to use new technology, and there are a lot of resources in most communities that provide assistance learning about computers and web sites and how to navigate the world wide web. 

Social networking can be very useful, as well as fun, for seniors.  Facebook, for example, gives us opportunity to share photos and videos with friends and family, many whom we haven’t seen in ages.  LinkedIn keeps us in contact with friends, acquaintances and family members who may be living on the other side of the planet.  Twitter helps us remain current about issues we support, and helps us remain in contact with people we choose to share links with.  YouTube is a great way to share videos.  Many of us find people from our past that we can reconnect with and share life experiences.  Social networking is another support system in a society that had begun to be rather disconnected.  It offers connections we would not otherwise have.
Many of us are managing our health and medical care online.  Our primary care physician now uses a program called NextMD, in which we can send secure emails back and forth about symptoms or medication refills or questions about lab reports or anything related to our health.  It eliminates waiting for return phone calls from a busy physician.  Online health forums are very popular among seniors; sharing information is another form of support and connection with others experiencing the same or similar health issues.
These are just three of the sites that provide assistance getting senior citizens online:


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  4. [...] It’s understandable that seniors are becoming more computer literate.  We have more time available to learn how to use new technology, and there are a lot of resources in most communities that provide assistance learning about computers and web sites and how to navigate the world wide web. Social networking can be very useful, as well as fun, for seniors.  Facebook, for example, gives us opportunity to share photos and videos with friends and family, many whom we haven’t seen in ages.  LinkedIn keeps us in contact with friends, acquaintances and family members who may be living on the other side of the planet.  Twitter helps us remain current about issues we support, and helps us remain in contact with people we choose to share links with.  YouTube is a great way to…more [...]

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