Over 60s use technology to get together
We talked recently about the problems of aging, isolation and loneliness. It seems for some pensioners this problem has been solved by social media sites! So it’s no longer just teenagers getting their social thrills from the internet. The video above gives tips on social networking for older adults.
A survey in America published a year ago showed that more than 50% of the over 65’s were using the internet and a third of senior citizens were also logging onto social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
A couple of years ago, statistics showed that the fastest growing Facebook audience was the 50 – 64 year olds. This section grew by a massive 84% between 2009 and 2011. The report was quick to confirm that it wasn’t just ‘baby-boomers’ either. The sector of over 65 year olds had grown by 81% over the same period. Our older generation is getting down with the kids!
Twitter saw some incredible rises of use by the same group in the same period too: a 65% rise of men between the ages of 50 -64 used Twitter while the number of over 65 year old women increased by an amazing 96%. These statistics were gathered by market research company, Neilsen
Whilst continual use of the internet has been blamed for social isolation and depression amongst teenagers, it seems to be the reverse for ‘silver surfers’. Thank goodness for some good news. The research that this is pinned on is from the University of Alabama. Whilst it is well known among the medical profession that depression is more likely as we age, social isolation exacerbates this condition.
Statistics suggest that a third more over 65s use the Internet (USA July 2012). It suggests that many of these more elderly social networkers have impaired mobility and use the sites as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends.
A study from the University of California showed that just one week after starting to use the Internet for the first time, these senior citizens showed changes in their brain activity. This is credited to the stimulation of nerve-cell activity caused by this connection.
Closer to home at the University of Surrey according to researcher Nichola Adams, ‘The major reasons for not using the internet (amongst older people) were found to be lack of knowledge or access’. This research found that once these barriers were overcome, these older users still needed some support when they first started using social networking sites.
It is hoped that the website going local will make real-life social interaction easier too. Members will be able to see what’s going on in their local area.
Meanwhile the website offers interesting topics and discussions. ‘Author Kathy Lette, TV presenter Judy Finnegan and actor Timothy Spall are among the high-profile names who have contributed to the Gransnet website.’
Oh by the way Gransnet isn’t restricted to Grans, Grandads can join too though I’m reliably informed there is a shed for them! Have you found out about our website via the social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest? Let us know in the comments how you first heard about or saw the stairlifts doctor website.