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5 Technologies Older Americans Have Embraced


5 Technologies Older Americans Have Embraced

There has been an increase in Retirees that are using the smartphone and social media.

Older people are often seen as being unfamiliar or having a hard time using new technologies. People that are aged 65 and up are now embracing the use of technology and learning how to absorb them into their lives. A recent study by the Pew Research Center, that surveyed 3,015 adults says that “Seniors feel very positive about technology.” According to Monica Anderson, the lead author of the study and an associate at Pew Research Center says that “Even though they might be less likely to use these forms of technology, they do believe that technology is a quite positive thing for our society.”


Here are the five technologies older Americans have adopted:


Teenagers and young adults are not the only ones attached to their screens. People aged 65 and older that are reportedly using a smartphone has doubled over the past three years from 18 percent to 42 percent from 2013 to 2016. Many older adults are also taking a step to figure out if they can accomplish something using the device. According to Verizon’s spokesperson Sanette Chao, “We hold intro to Smartphone sessions at several of our retail stores across the nation. The majority of them are attended by senior citizens.”


The Internet

Even though they did not grow up surfing the web, two-thirds of older adults now use the internet, it went up about 12 percent in 2000, and half of the senior Americans have broadband at home.“ Senior who are younger have a more robust relationship with technology, so a majority have smartphones and the vast majority go online. When you look at people who are 80 plus, the vast majority do not even use the internet,” Anderson said.

To those seniors who cannot drive or has a hard time getting around, the internet makes it easy for them to email their friends, Skype with their grandchildren and can shop without the need to leave the house. “Once seniors are online, they are doing a lot of things that everyone else does,” he adds.



Some older people prefer to use the tablet because touch screens make it easier for them to navigate. About 32 percent of those people aged 65 and older say that they own a tablet computer, with the likes of iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tablets, Microsoft Surface Pro or Amazon Fire. 19 percent of seniors also used these gadgets to read books on e-readers. Tablets have the ability to change the font sizes which is good for seniors that has vision impairment.


Direct Deposit

Social Security Administration had encouraged many retirees to use direct deposits. Since 2011, Social Security recipient have been required to receive their payment by direct deposit or any other electronic payment method.

Using direct deposits, it eliminates the printing and postage cost of paper checks, which helps the federal government save money, and retirees are sure to get their money faster with a less probability of lost or stolen payments.

Online banking service could give benefits to seniors who are having a difficulty to get to a bank branch. According to Stacy Canan, assistant director of the office for older Americans at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says, “Banks offer a lot of online services, and may seniors are becoming increasingly receptive to those type of services. But some older consumers still want face-to-face banking or paper statement they can hold in their hand.” There are some seniors that made a complaint to the CFPB about not providing check or paper statements for free with checking accounts. Canan said, “I would urge consumers to make requests of the bank or credit union that they use to ask that they not be charged for those services.


Social Media

People of all age brackets are now connecting through social media. Some older adult uses social media sites to potentially find work.LinkedIn reports that almost half of the people who use its ProFinder service that can help job seekers to find project-based work are over 50. “These professionals have likely had long careers and built substantial networks in their industries before retiring from their corporate job to pick up freelancing. Anecdotally, they’ve said that freelancing enables them to pursue work they’re passionate about and enjoy more flexible schedule,” Tatiana De Almeida, spokesperson of LinkedIn said.

Many older Americans now use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedln, it went up from a quarter in 2013. Anderson says that, “Older social media users socialize with friends and family more frequently than people who do not use the internet and do not use social media. Seniors are still less likely to have certain forms of technology, but in many ways they are very much marching toward a more digitally connected life.”


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