(TNS)—New research shows seniors might be more savvy at tweeting, Facebook posting, emailing and Skyping than they get credit for.
A study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking shows there may be portions of older adults who use technology as often as younger adults, and that it might have some health benefits.
It counteracts the popular perception that seniors aren’t interested in social media or have difficulty using email, instant message, Facebook, Twitter or video calling.
William Chopik, a researcher at Michigan State University, studied survey responses from 591 older Americans, with the average age being 68, and found that more than 95 percent were either “somewhat” or “very” satisfied with social technology. And 72 percent said they were not opposed to learning new technologies.
“Despite the attention that the digital divide has garnered in recent years, a large proportion of older adults use technology to maintain their social networks and make their lives easier,” Chopik said in a university news release.
Chopik also found that social technology use was associated with less loneliness, which was tied to better physical and mental health. Seniors who used social media also tended to be more satisfied with life, had fewer symptoms of depression and fewer chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Nonetheless, the study did not prove that social media use improved their health.
©2016 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)
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