Facebook makes staying connected with extended family a snap. It’s simple enough that anybody minimally tech-savvy can handle it and while people used associate social media with Millennials, Baby Boomers are heavy users of social media, with Facebook being the biggest for the demographic.
One of the driving factors is connecting with old friends and classmates. The number for baby boomer using Facebook are quite surprising. According to Pew Research Center, of the 79% of Americans who were Facebook users in 2016, 72% were between the age of 50 and 64. They are also highly engaged users. One survey found the group 19% more likely to share content on Facebook than any other generation. A generation of ‘silver surfers’ is taking to social networking websites and Internet video calls to ‘stay in the loop’ with their youngest relatives.
Another important reason is that they hold onto a higher average level of wealth and, once retired, have more time to spend it.
So kind of content are baby boomer posting and sharing about?
The top topics are Health and News while entertainment and food are also very popular. Older women, in particular, are even more predisposed to sharing, with a 26% greater likelihood, well above the generational average of 19%. Compared to other generations, the types of content besides the news that are most likely to get shares are food snapshots (10% more) and cute videos of babies and animals (18% more).
Of course, some grandparents prefer traditional modes of contact, but in an increasingly mobile world, in which teens have evolved past phones to communicate with one another via text messages and Facebook “status updates,” it may be hard to keep up with the kids any other way — especially in families separated by great distances. Mary Madden, a senior research specialist with the Pew Research Centre, said: ‘The most powerful force convincing them to take the plunge…is their families.
‘Especially when it comes to their grandchildren, they do not want to be left out of the loop.’