· The Positive Aging Report 2021, commissioned by Columbia Pacific Communities, provided crucial insights into the hearts and minds of seniors in India.
· Over 20% (one in five) of respondents aged 60 years and older admit to spending more than 4 hours each day on social media, compared to 19% of millennials and Gen Z.
· About 97% of the surveyed seniors believe that technology helps with their mental health and peace in comparison to 82% of millennials and Gen Z and 87% of Gen X.
· Senior women (77%), compared to senior men (74%), appear to have a stronger belief in the utilitarian aspects of technology.
Bengaluru, June 28, 2022: On the occasion of World Social Media Day, findings from the Positive Aging Report 2021, published by Columbia Pacific Communities, India’s largest senior living community operator, are debunking several misconceptions on how seniors approach social media and digital technologies.
There are over six million senior citizens on Facebook in India. Through this, not only does the average 60-year-old Indian maintain contact with his or her family, but also with former classmates, instructors, and co-workers. Many seniors are using technology to improve or learn new skills, whether through YouTube or Facebook groups where like-minded people share their knowledge.
Contradicting numerous assumptions, the insights from the report reveal that adults older than 60 years appear to be just as social media-savvy as millennials and Gen Z. As per the report, one-in-five respondents aged 60 and up (20%) admit to spending more than 4 hours each day on social media, compared to 19% of millennials and Gen Z.
The report also indicates that nearly all respondents between the ages of 46 and 60 (97%) and those over 60 (95%) say that technology aids their mental health and peace, compared to 82% of millennials and Gen Z and 87% of Gen X respondents.
Mohit Nirula, Chief Executive Officer of Columbia Pacific Communities, commented on the subject, “It is critical to emphasise the use of social media among older adults and why it has become so important in this current times of physical isolation. Many seniors have joined social networking platforms that enable them to socialise virtually and maintain the much needed connect with their loved ones. Regular technological breakthroughs have not only aided the 60+ generation’s ability to maintain their independence, but also this culture appears to have had a positive effect on seniors who have lived, worked, and aged in cities for years. The seniors are growing more interested in online games and content. E-magazines provide a wealth of knowledge and relevant items to keep senior citizens up to date on technology. Seniors are looking for a variety of services tailored to their needs, as well as a lifestyle that is rich in social, emotional, physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.”
Although technology is traditionally associated with men, the research suggests that when it comes to individuals over 60, women are the more tech-savvy gender. 34% of senior women spend more than four hours per day on platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, compared to only 11% of men. The percentage of women over 60 who spend more than four hours per day on social media is higher than that of millennial and Gen Z males (22%) and nearly double that of millennial and Gen Z women (15%). The explanation for this disparity would be that relative to men (74%), women (77%) appear to have a stronger belief in the utilitarian benefits of technology and hence use it more frequently.
In addition, compared to only 21% of men, 37% of women ‘strongly agree’ that technology helps with their mental health and tranquility. Even though both genders believe in the benefits of technology, it is safe to conclude that older women are more convinced of the benefits of a tech-enabled lifestyle than men.
The Positive Ageing Report which was released in August 2021, is based on face-to-face and telephonic interviews conducted by Innovative Research Services (India) Pvt. Ltd. Over 2,000 respondents older than 18 from Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune participated in the study. The respondents between 18 and 35 years are referred to as Gen Z and millennials, and those between 36 and 45 years as Gen X in the report.