Social network penetration and usage amongst people over 64 years of age

Blas José Subiela Hernández, Jesús Martínez Sánchez, Francisco Hernández Gómez

Abstract


The Internet and social networks, currently considered a generic asset for most social groups, have become increasingly popular as they are easy to use and help to create and maintain relationships. However, there are still some age groups in which the use of the Internet and social networks is still in its early stages. More specifically, we are referring to people over the age of 64, who are the most affected by the generational and digital gap when it comes to the use of new technologies. This study looks into the perceived level of Internet and social network penetration and knowledge within this segment of the population, in addition to identifying their usage habits and access barriers. To do that, we have carried out a cross-sectional ad-hoc survey through stratified, proportional sampling and probabilistic allocation to a group of 390 individuals registered in the municipality of Murcia. Survey results coincide with former studies as they confirm the low penetration of these computational platforms amongst senior citizens. Results also show the interest of this age group to get training and information with the aim to start using them. Thus, public administrations need to address this situation by implementing policies intended to favor ICT integration into the daily lives of people over the age of 64.

Keywords


Digital communication, education and socialization, interactive tools, Internet, Seniors, Social Networking, ICT, Internet use

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