Older Adults & Seniors Play Role in Today’s Technology

Seniors are playing a bigger role in technology. Find out how older adults are shaping the future of technology through the internet and mobile devices.

Often misunderstood and discounted, Seniors are playing a much larger role in technology than we as a society might think. The arrogance of youth may cause many to forget that the previous generations before paved the path for many of these technologies to flourish. While the use of technologies may be more prevalent among youth and young adults, numbers show that older adults are using much more technology than previously thought. Studies also show that large amounts of digital media are also being consumed by adults 65 and older.

Smartphones a contributing factor.

According to a recent Pew Report, more than double the amount of adults 65 and older are now using smartphones as compared to 2013 (Anderson & Perrin, 2017). The use of smartphones on its own might be one of the biggest contributing factors in the rise of use of new technologies among older adults. Many of the factors that play into smartphone use also include economic affluence and educational attainment. The numbers do drop off in terms of use for people after their mid 70’s, however activity seems very high. Older adult use of mobile technology in many regards shows to be right in line with the same type of activity as younger generations.

Older Adults can be tech-savvy.

Although many seniors might need help in using newer devices, a current theme being found is that the knowledge gap is closing. Older adults were found to have a good level of awareness of not just digital security, but in understanding how new devices are to be interfaced with. User sentiment is also changing as more and more positive feelings are being associated with online experience. Online shopping is a good example of this. As compared with the past age groups within the same category, we find that activity for online shopping has increased significantly. More and more older adults are using Amazon as well as other websites to do their shopping.

Much of this increased activity can be seen particularly within Amazon since 2013. Amazon had launched categories specifically catering to Senior shopping needs. Since then many other online stores have followed in this practice. The web has become very much senior friendly and is no longer just for the young. It should be mentioned that younger consumers still dominate this market, however it is clear that seniors and older adults are using these mediums much more frequently in the US and European markets.

Social Media has helped push things along.

Perhaps the largest use of technology by older adults can be found in social media. Whether it be used for staying in touch with loved ones or making their voices heard, seniors are definitely having an impact. Skype has also seen massive spikes in use among the older generation. Social media as a whole has enabled seniors to have a voice that wasn’t available in previous generations. Facebook in particular has seen a significant increase in users from seniors, particularly at a time when more and more younger users are turning to other social medias such as Instagram. As time goes on though, one thing is clear, that seniors and technology are going to be here to stay.


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