The senior-technophobe stereotypes are everywhere. Remember the Ally Bank’s “grandkids equal free tech support” ad?
And it’s not just the TV where you’ll find these stereotypes. Just run a search on Google using the “seniors struggling with computers meme” key phrase, and you’ll see how the pervasive nature of this belief is.
Such stereotypes also abound in online ads, blog posts, brochures, and marketing emails. Most visual illustrations show grandmas and grandpas sitting with an utterly confused, puzzled, or baffled expression on their face in front of a desktop or laptop. The titles accompanying these visuals are as funny and varied as the photos or videos themselves.
The Times They Are A-Changin’
Do the stereotypes we are used to really depict today’s seniors correctly?
Are you surprised? Don’t be.
After all, Bill Gates, the man who has given us the most popular operating system ever, is a baby boomer himself. The same holds true for the late Steve Job, whose tech giant Apple recently became the first ever company to cross the $1 trillion mark.
But these two gentlemen are exceptions. You might say.
Of course, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are no ordinary people, but if you look around you, you will find many seniors swishing smartphones out of their pockets and using them just as frequently and with as much ease as ease Gen Y or Gen Z.
Therefore, the stereotype that older adults feel like a fish out of water in front of electronic gadgets, such as computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones is one big fat lie.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Take a look at the infographic below provided by MedAlertHelp and see it for yourself.
Here are a few facts that will convince you of the truth about seniors and their technology use.
Latest Figures Debunk the Senior-Technophobe Stereotype
According to a report, 82% of baby boomers use the net to gather information. When polled, baby boomers said they enjoy browsing through the wide world of cyberspace because it makes it easier for them to find more information about their areas of interest.
So much for the stereotype that our grandpas and grandmas are unable to find their way on the information superhighway!
Seniors Love Social Media
Think that baby boomers don’t like social media?
Reports show that a whopping 61% of people aged between 50-59 use Facebook. So, don’t be so sure that your grandma wouldn’t watch your latest video on Facebook. What’s more, she is also likely to leave you a comment or two.
When it comes to sharing content on Facebook, seniors are 19% more active than Gen Y or Gen Z. (Surprise, surprise!)
Maybe this is because our oldie-but-goodie folks want to be heard, not only by their family and friends but also by the world at large. Also, older adults are less likely to worry about what others think about them than younger people.
Social networking sites give grandmas and grandpas a chance to stay connected with their families. Many seniors have their family members scattered all around the world and often — and perhaps rightly so — feel disconnected.
Loved ones also want to stay in touch with them on a regular basis. Nothing bridges the distance between far-away family members better than social media.
Availability of discount coupons on Facebook and Twitter might be another reason behind the huge popularity of social networking sites among baby boomers. With many seniors living on fixed income, it’s hardly a surprise that they are all game for tracing discount coupons and promo codes online.
The long and short of this is that there’s no denying grandmas and grandpas have taken a sure liking to social media and having a whale of a time on it.
Electronic Gadgets Have Become Easier to Use
Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last few years. Today, one can find many high-quality personal-assistant apps for smartphones that not only give you weather and traffic updates but also make driving easy by giving directions.
Another reason for the high rate of technology adoption among seniors is that they now realize more acutely than ever the benefits of embracing technology. Think how artificial intelligence powered devices which can make their lives easier. They can check calendar appointments, weather, and news and do much more with a simple voice command!
Infographic is by MedAlertHelp.Org