While many older Americans are quarantining at home during the pandemic, they certainly aren’t withdrawing from society. These mature consumers are tapping into technology at unprecedented rates to avoid social isolation and stay connected, entertained and informed. Whether they’re Facetiming with family members, keeping up with friends on Facebook or attending Zoom weddings, America’s grandmas and grandpas are diving headfirst into the digital age.
Of course, there’s been a learning curve for some of these aging tech enthusiasts: 44% of Americans over the age of 60 say they’re studying technology more than ever, according to a Boxboat survey. More than 56% of Baby Boomers say their tech skills have moderately or greatly improved since the onset of the pandemic, and over half of them are turning to YouTube to learn about technology.
40+ Techies: An Ongoing Trend
While the pandemic certainly kicked things into high gear, older generations were already taking on tech pre-Covid. According to a Pew Research study, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were embracing technology at a faster rate than Millennials in 2019.
While Millennials continue to adopt the newest technology earlier, older demographics are more rapidly adapting to digital life. This is likely because many parents and grandparents are looking to connect with their younger family members via texting, sharing photos, video calls and social media.
Skyrocketing Social Media Usage
As older consumers continue to embrace technology, social media usage is on the rise. In the last few years, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms have exploded in popularity with these generations. Since 2012, Gen Xers have shown a 74% spike in social media usage and Boomer usage is up by 59%.
Many Boomers report that they now use social media daily, and 84% of them say social media is likely to improve their lives, according to Security.org research. That’s quite a different perspective from Millennials, who are somewhat distrustful of social media and say it worsens their lives. This could be because Millennials have practically grown up with social media constantly in their faces while many Boomers have just recently discovered the networking platforms.
Seniors & Smartphones
In the past decade, most Boomers have ditched their outdated flip phones and upgraded to smartphones. In 2019, 79% of consumers aged 50-64 owned a smartphone and more than half of people 65+ owned one. According to some estimates, 100 million smartphone users are now over the age of 45.
With millions of Americans stuck at home and searching for ways to stay connected, older generations continue to embrace new technology at rapid rates. As a result, countless consumers are looking to trade up to the latest and greatest devices. This is probably why we at Phobio have seen unprecedented trade-in numbers since the onset of the pandemic.
If you want to offer customers of any age an easy-to-use trade-in experience, we can help. Ready to talk? Contact us today!