Yes, the fastest growing segment of social media users are those over 50! As reported in Inc. Magazine:
“Social networking use among Internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22 percent in April 2009 to 42 percent in May 2010, says a survey of over 2,250 U.S. adults from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
The figures were even higher for the oldest users: Usage among those over the age of 65 percent grew 100 percent, from 13 percent last year to 26 percent in May 2010.”
And it makes sense. Those over 50 have more time as many are retired. It provides a great way to connect with family and friends, both near and far. it also provides a way for people to speak their mind, create a legacy and to read the many opinions that exist in cyberspace.
As I wrote in my book, Safe 4 Retirement: The Four Keys to a Safe Retirement, social media is an important way for retirees to connect with others and strengthen their all important social structure:
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust
The world our children and grandchildren live in today can appear to be light years away from the one we grew up in. Out went lemonade stands and black and white televisions and in came Facebook and iPhones. And that’s the easy stuff. Movies, music, clothes, and the speed of maturing are all different; sometimes shockingly so. Kids don’t discuss whether or not they should get pierced ears, but what other body part they should pierce along with them.
However, if we look more closely—and more objectively, if possible—children today aren’t striving for any different goals than we did. They just have a different set of tools they’re working with. Tools, by the way, that were invented by adults, and one can only guess that many of those adults have kids too. Kids are looking for ways to connect with people; friends, family, wannabe romances, and everyone in between.
As we’ve found out over the course of these chapters, humans are deeply wired to be social, and children in their teens most of all. The social media of today that they use works more efficiently to connect people than ever before.
What does all of this have to do with your Safe Retirement? Easy, just as we have so much experience and knowledge that we can teach to others, younger generations have their own set of experiences and knowledge with which to teach us, gained from the unique generations they were raised in.
Kids today have efficient social networks and methods of communicating literally within reach of their fingertips. If we want to stay in touch with them and in their own way, rather than ours, we need to learn about these new tools.
The good news is it’s easy to do. The really good news? It’s kind of fun once you get the swing of it.
What has your experience been with social media and how has it helped you to connect with others and create a safe retirement for you? I’d love to hear.