As The Pandemic Forced Older Adults To Stay Indoors, They Shifted To The Latest Tech For Entertainment And Staying Connected.
The pandemic might be the bridge to close the generational tech divide as older adults flocked to adopt technology in 2020. According to AARP’s annual technology survey, usage increased across the technological spectrum. Older adults are buying new smart devices, such as smart TVs, smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, home assistants, and home security, streaming movies and TV shows, and video-chatting with friends and families. Knowledge gaps, privacy concerns, and cost remain the top reasons obstructing tech adoption. Regardless, ownership of smart devices by older adults in their 50s, 60s, and even 70s has gone up across all categories, according to the survey. The top three tech purchases are smartphones, smart TVs, and Bluetooth headsets/earbuds.
Texting, email, social media, and video chatting have become commonplace as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to remain home, separated from friends and family.
More than 80% of the respondents over the age of 50 mentioned that they use some form of tech on a daily basis to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues.
About 44% of older adults said that they have a more positive feeling toward tech now than they had prior to the pandemic. Seniors are also making use of tech to stay entertained as the pandemic rages. More older adults are also using smart TVs. In 2020, 64% owned a smart TV, up from 49% in 2019. It is interesting to note that the viewing pattern is moving from traditional network and cable stations to online streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Disney+. Besides privacy concerns, high-speed internet access is a problem faced by many older adults. Besides infrastructure-related issues, cost and understanding tech are a concern.
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