Social media and the technology sector have long been a daunting aspect of daily lives for those over the age of 65. Pop culture has turned this struggle into a joke but while it may be amusing for those who understand the intricacies of the digital age, it became a scary obstacle in the wake of the 2020 pandemic. The Coronavirus pandemic made it much harder for family members to communicate with each other, and weekly and daily tasks became impossible to complete within the confines of the home. Being familiar with technology became a necessity and soon active adults became digital seniors.
Adults over the age of 65 are typically a group that suffers the effects of loneliness most and with the technology sector growing exponentially in the past two decades, they suffered these effects more than any group before them. Technology became a wall they couldn’t figure out how to get past, leading to depression, functional decline and even death. Educating themselves on using technology to their advantage prevented many from falling into the calamities of social isolation and ensured they remained active members of our everchanging society.
Active adults and seniors alike struggled with navigating this tumultuous time without the knowledge of the digital world. It became the only means to get things done while safely remaining at home. In the face of a dilemma that affected every aspect of their daily lives, this group learned to navigate a growing sector of our society that was once incredibly daunting to them.
Now, people aged 65 and above are crushing all digital expectations to navigate the new normal as this pandemic continues. Keeping in contact with doctors and maintaining exercise regimes was crucial for those who rely on continual medical assistance. To combat social isolation, learning to utilize platforms such as Skype and Zoom to contact family and friends is a saving grace.
According to a study conducted by Google and Known, 85% of seniors online spend at least six hours online daily and 70% don’t see these habits changing after the pandemic. This change was a necessary step for seniors to keep up with breaking news, Coronavirus updates and keep in touch with family and friends in a time when going back to normal wasn’t an option.
Before the spring of 2020, companies largely marketed to this age group primarily through print and television as this had proven to be the most successful way to reach them. As this age group quickly becomes known as Digital Seniors and Silversurfers, communicating with them through platforms such as YouTube and Facebook is more effective. These platforms are where seniors currently consume most news and stay in touch with family, friends and professionals.
Silversurfers have inspired us all with their adaptability in the face of the Coronavirus. Gone are the days when sending mail and airing commercials were the only way to market to this age bracket. Take advantage of this change and use technology to your advantage to market to digital seniors. Never underestimate the tech-savviness of this group and miss out on marketing opportunities to reach them.