Social media sites are incredibly popular with teenagers and young adults, but do older adults visit these sites? How do older adults use social media and how can they avoid common scams?
Older adults ARE using social media. According to a 2021 Pew research poll, these are the most popular sites among older adults (age 65+) and the percentage of older adults that visit them regularly:
- Facebook: 50%
- YouTube: 49%
- Pinterest: 18%
- Instagram: 13%
- LinkedIn: 11%
- WhatsApp: 10%
- NextDoor: 8%
- Twitter: 7%
- TikTok: 4%
- Reddit: 3%
- Snapchat: 2%
- Older adults with fewer social connections showed an increased positive mood after using social media.
- Social media can reduce isolation in older adults.
- Social media is not a replacement for in-person relationships. A study found that older adults were happier if they had an in-person encounter and were active on social media.
How are older adults using social media?
According to an AARP poll, 54% of older adults say that they use social media to keep in touch with loved ones; 8% say that they use social media for updates on grandchildren. It seems that older adults are less likely to use social media to catch up on world events, instead preferring to keep up with their loved ones.
21% of adults age 50+ say that they don’t use social media because they have safety concerns. They’re right to be worried, in 2022 social media scams cost Americans $770 million! What can you do to keep yourself safe?
- Only accept friend requests from people you know
- Limit who can see your posts
- If a friend seems to be acting weird online or asks you for money, they might have been hacked.
- Don’t accept a second friend request from someone you’ve already friended, it may be a spam account.
- Remember: if something seems too good to be true, it probably is
- Always be suspicious when asked to wire money or buy gift cards
- Be wary of buying anything off a social media website, including NextDoor.