Baby Boomers and Social Media
by Joyce Feustel, Founder, Boomers’ Social Media Tutor.
Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are increasingly active on social media, especially on Facebook.
In August, 2013 the Pew Research Center on Retirement released a report with some fascinating statistics on social media use among those 50 and older:
- 60% of people in the 50 – 64 year age group, which is most of the boomer population, are now on at least one social media site.
- Facebook is by far the most popular social media site for this age group.
- Baby boomers spend 27 hours per week online, which is two hours more per week than those who are between 16 and 34.
Most baby boomers get involved with Facebook and other social media sites to stay connected with their friends and family, as well as to reconnect with folks they haven’t seen in some time. Since members of this age group highly value community involvement, it is not surprising that they often use social media to promote causes they advocate for.
One of the big motivators for people in this age group to embrace social media is that for them to get jobs and keep jobs, they need to be savvier with technology. Being part of social media site such as LinkedIn can demonstrate that they are catching on to social media.
People in this age group fear isolation, boredom, illness and the loss of their distinctive voice. Being engaged with social media can help address all these fears and help the baby boomer continue to feel that they are contributing to the community.
All this said, baby boomers can get very frustrated in their use of social media. Since they sometimes use social media intermittently, they can have a difficult time keeping up with all the changes in various social media sites, especially Facebook which seems to make the most changes.
They are not always familiar with the how to use the settings of different sites, and they can find themselves getting inundated with unwanted emails. Most are very concerned about their privacy on social media yet are not fully aware of how to effectively use the privacy settings found on the sites they frequent.
Some get overwhelmed with the amount of information that flows into their Facebook news feed or their Twitter feed. They need guidance in how to filter these feeds so that they only see information from the people they are most closely connected to.
Colorado Free University is a great place for baby boomers and people of all ages to learn more about social media. They can check out the class offerings found at www.freeu.com or skim through the CFU catalog the next time it arrives to find out about social media classes.