As technology advances, so is the myth that seniors are opposed to these new technology methods. So as the younger generation continues to assume that the older senior people are out of touch with even the basic technology like a cell phone, what occurs is that seniors choose what type of technology they want to engage themselves with and the ones they do not want to learn. Therefore having a blanket assumption that they are not tech-savvy is a misconception. A study done by pew research revealed that six out of ten seniors use the internet, and 71% of those seniors access the internet daily. Additionally, the same study showed that seven out of 10 seniors above 65 years own mobile phones, increasing these figures. So let us try to demystify some misconceptions about seniors and cell phones.
Seniors Do Not Spend Time Online
We all assume that seniors have nothing to do online; and probably they do not know how to navigate the internet and the various applications. While in the real sense, some of them may not be picky but they access online platforms depending on their preference. Like I know my mother is not interested in WhatsApp; but she logs onto the internet once in a while to catch up with news and any other current affairs.
Different carriers and cellular companies also offer senior cell phone plans with unlimited data, call, and text packages because they are trying to tap into this growing market. The introduction of such cell phone plans for seniors is a clear indication that seniors indeed get online. Some seniors may also spend their time on online applications communicating with their family and friends. So it will be false to state that seniors do not spend time online.
Seniors Are Not On Social Media
The myth that seniors are not on social media claims that seniors do not use social media; or other forms of technology due to some cognitive deficits or lack of knowledge on using these platforms. Pew research in 2019 revealed that 69% of adults aged 50-64 use the internet and that 41% of those above 65 years are also on social media platforms.
Even more, surprising research done by Statista revealed that 41% of Facebook users are above 65 years. Furthermore, as of the last quarter of 2020, Statista also revealed that 67% of adults aged 56 years and above use YouTube regularly. The Baby Boomers may not post as m8ch on these social media platforms, but they log into their accounts regularly.
Senior Adults Do Not Own Cell Phones
There is a well-worn cliché that seniors only own flip phones. However, a report on smartphone and broadband use released by pew research invalidates this statement. It reveals that the number of adults in the 65 years and above age bracket who own smartphones has increased over the last two years. Additionally, the number of adults subscribing to broadband services is also significant, with 64% of those aged 65 years and above having high-speed connections at home. Additionally, from the same report; adults within the age 71% of adults between the age bracket 65-75 years also stated that they own smartphones. Therefore the misconception that seniors do not use smartphones should be debunked.
Seniors Do Not Know How to Adapt to New Technology
Older adults are currently embracing the new technology more than ever. And there is no doubt that inventors are scrambling to capture this market. Think of the software that can be used to;
- Monitor pressure
- Daily steps
- Magnify texts on the phone and computer screens
- Make urgent calls
Through such inventions, it is clear that these inventors are trying to accommodate these seniors since they are embracing the new technology.
Although many seniors may struggle with using the latest technology, including phones, most of them are open-minded and have embraced the use of advanced technology. Most seniors also prefer to age in place. Hence, the reason why they embrace new technology such as smartphones since they can carry out most of their activities using phones, including shopping. They also embrace various assistive living technologies. Therefore it will be wrong to state that seniors do not adopt new technology.
Older adults are using technology to communicate, find information and services. The older generation may be a little picky with the type of technology they use. We must acknowledge that they also subscribe to various technological developments, including smartphones. Therefore, myths such as seniors not owning smartphones may lack merit; especially looking at studies that indicate that now more than ever, seniors are embracing different new technologies being invented. Additionally, it is also easy to debunk these myths since manufacturers are now more inclined towards coming up with various cell phones and cell phone plans that favor seniors.