The commonly held notion that the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are frequented only by the young is turning out to be absolutely false.
A study conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has found that several people over 50 years of age in the USA are not only using the Internet very comfortably but are also adept users of Facebook and the latest gadgets such as the iPad.
AARP interviewed 1,360 adults over the phone last month and found that 27% of Americans over 50 years of age use social networks. They also found that Facebook was the most popular social site for this age group, ahead of other sites like MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn. eMarketer had also conducted a similar study a while ago and found similar results.
49% of those between 50 and 64 years of age and 40% of all above 50 years said they were very comfortable with the Internet and frequently used it as a means of communication.
It was also found that 47% of these users heard about the social networks from family members and 70% of them did so through their children or grandchildren. Most of these senior citizens use the networks to keep in touch with their children (62%) and grandchildren (36%) and not to spy on the youngsters as some might suppose.
83% of the respondents had also heard about the iPad and while only 2% of them had already bought one, 11-14% of them were planning to do so.