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Social networking and beyond: How we use our technology


social media and the over 50s imageArticle by Fab after Fifty

It’s a worn and tired stereotype that the over-fifties can’t understand technology, with many suggesting that those of the baby boomer generation are unable to understand how to use gadgets, the internet and other modern devices.

Thankfully, a recent survey by Ladbrokes Bingo has revealed the online habits of various age groups across the nation, including those aged 50 and above! The results may surprise some, especially those who believe that the over-fifties can’t understand technology!

Social behaviour

Much like the rest of the world, Facebook has proven to be the most popular social networking site for the over-50s, with 49% stating it as their favourite social networking site. It would seem, however, those aged over 50 are a little more up to date with some of the other social networking services, especially Google +, as far more people over-50 use the site compared to 25-34 year olds.

Despite this ability to use social media with the best of them, the over-50s are much less likely to be picky about what goes on their profile page. Less than 10% have untagged themselves in photos, showing that many people really do feel fabulous after 50!

The negative effects of social media are, thankfully, much lower than those experienced by any younger age groups. Only 1.49% of the over-50s have had their careers or relationships affected by social media, showing that, not only do we know what we’re doing online, but we’re a lot less likely to let it control our lives.

Perhaps one of the most interesting social media habits comes in the form of Spotify, the music device that can hook up to a Facebook account. When asked if they hid their music selection through a private session on the device, it has been shown that more than twice the amount of users over 50 hide their accounts than those in their 40s.

Online security

The over-50s can often be suggested to be the more careful generation as many assume that, with age comes more responsibility. But is this really the case when it comes to technology and the online world?

A third of those aged 55+ are likely to browse the internet on a second device, such as a smart phone or tablet, whilst watching TV. Whilst this is not necessarily an unsafe habit in itself, it’s important to remember to sign out and password enable all devices with access to personal information.

Speaking of passwords, only 50% of the over-50s can remember all of their online passwords, making them the most forgetful of any age group!

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