Seniors Are Flocking to Facebook

The number of Americans age 65 and up who use online social networking sites has skyrocketed,  increasing from one percent in 2006 to 34 percent today.  That’s just one nugget of information in the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s latest report.

Pew Internet and American Life Project: The percent of adult Internet users in each age group who use social networking sites, 2005-2012

Between 2011 and 2012, senior social media use accounted for the steepest increase of all age groups.  A little more than one in every three seniors is using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbl, or some other site in the ever expanding list of online social networks.

Looking across generations, here are some other things the new report highlights.

  • The average user of a social networking site has more close ties and is half as likely to be socially isolated as the average American
  • Facebook users are much more politically engaged than most people
  • Roughly two thirds of social media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites
  • Half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies.
  • 46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. The Pew calls them creators.
  • 41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. They’re called curators
  • 40% of Facebook users in the Pew sample made a friend request; 63% received at least one request
  • 15% of Facebook users update their own status
  • 26% “Like” another user’s content

How do you use Facebook? Check all that apply in the poll or tell us more in the comments box below.

Photo: © Graham Briggs |


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