Grandparents Are Using Social Networks

Today Mashable reported twenty-two percent of all grandparents in the UK are using social networks.

The study, which collected results from 1,341 grandparents from the UK, showed that 71% of grandparents who use a social network use Facebook, 34% are on Twitter and 9% use the business social network LinkedIn.

Nana and Papa are really active online, too: 51% say they log in once a week or more, and 35% log in a few times every month. Sixty-eight percent of those asked said they had joined their chosen social network in the past year. A quarter of participants said they had joined a social network to find old friends, one-fifth said they did it to keep in touch with friends and family, and half were encouraged to do so by younger people in their families.

But, it’s not just the Brit-Boomers who are embracing social media.

A new study from Pew Internet found that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking site usage grew 88% among Internet users aged 55-64, and the 65 and older group’s social networking presence grew 100% in the same time frame.

Personally, I’ve seen this in my own life. Just three years ago, my father – who is in his 70s) relentlessly mocked my use of social media and Facebook. Today, he follows me on Twitter and recently asked if I use QR codes. Makes my heart sing to hear him talk like that!

Of course, younger people still dominate Facebook, but the growth of that demo is down (their usage only grew 13% during the year covered by Pew’s report.) Meanwhile, older adults are catching up at an incredibly quick pace, though it remains to be seen whether they will pass the youth or hit a ceiling at or below the usage levels reported by young adults and teens.

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