RAQ: Do Seniors use Social Media?

Here’s a recently asked question from Sturle Monstad (@sturlemo), from Bergen, Norway:


Thanks for collecting such a wealth of info on your SMUG site. I am using the resources in my work with health promotion for older adults. I have a contract with Lions Club in Norway on a programme they are setting up a web site for them. I am now trying to include social media for marketing and community building.

They are a bit skeptical, but well see how things work out. We see that seniors are getting more active on Facebook, and I think the interaction may be positive for many. Have you written anything about social media/seniors?


First, thanks for helping to put the “Global” in SMUG!

As I say in Thesis 23, almost everybody uses social media today, whether they know it or not. You point out correctly that Facebook is growing rapidly among those over age 55, having increased by more than 900 percent in 2009.

I also can tell you that on our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel, almost 30 percent of video views are from people age 55 or older.

As these tools are becoming ever easier to use, the growth of social media will continue. I believe women over 55, for example, are the fastest-growing demographic in Facebook.

It all comes down to whether the content or subject matter is worthwhile and interesting.

My dad turns 79 on Saturday. He’s on Facebook, too, because it’s a way to see video and photos of his great-granddaughter.

Social platforms, from blogs to Facebook to YouTube, make it easier for anyone to share information that others will find interesting.

What do you think? What other statistics or arguments about senior citizens and social media can you offer to Sturle? Do you have any personal examples or case studies to share?