Although seniors use technology less than younger adults, their use of it is growing, according to new research from the Pew Research Center.
Also, the younger a senior is, the more likely he or she is to be using technology, on average, according to results of the telephone survey of 3,015 U.S. adults that Pew conducted Sept. 29 to Nov. 6, 2016.
The most common technology used by survey participants older than 70 was a cell phone, although the percentage of users dropped when they were asked whether they used a smartphone.
Ninety-three percent of those 70 to 74 reported owning a cell phone, whereas 49% said they had a smartphone. Similarly, 63% of those aged 75 to 79 said they own a cell phone, whereas 31% had a smartphone. And 58% of those aged 80 or more years reported owning a cell phone, whereas 17% said they had a smartphone. (Overall, 42% of adults aged 65 and older said they own a smartphone.)
The next most frequently used technology was the internet, with 75% of respondents aged 70 to 74, 60% of those 75 to 79 and 44% of those aged 80 or more reporting using it.
Sixty-one percent of survey-takers aged 70 to 74 said they subscribe to broadband services, compared with 41% of those aged 75 to 79 and 28% of those aged 80 or more years.
Use of tablets and e-readers was less common. Thirty-two percent of those aged 70 to 74 reported owning a tablet, and 23% said they had an e-reader. Twenty-eight percent of those aged 75 to 79 said they own a tablet, and 18% reported owning an e-reader. Twenty percent of those aged 80 or more years said they own a tablet, and 13% said they had an e-reader.
Regarding social media use, 41% of those aged 70 to 74, 24% of those aged 75 to 79, and 17% of those aged 80 or more said they had ever used it.