A digital surge from the over 55s is creating a social media exodus from 16-34 year olds

Paul Sutherland
Paul Sutherland
Older people are adopting social networks like Facebook and Instagram

More than half of people aged 55 and over now have smartphones and have signed up to social media, while a third of 16-34 year olds have deleted their Facebook accounts, according to new research.

This enthusiasm from the older generation, the digital converts, is putting digital natives – those aged 17-34 who have grown up with modern technology – off and it’s sending them in search of social media channels where they can’t be found by their family.

According to the third annual Halifax Insurance Digital Home Index, a third of digital natives have deleted or blocked a family member on Facebook and 53% now have Twitter accounts, 42% are on Instagram and 39% use Snapchat.

This compares to just 13% of over 55s on Twitter, 3% on Instagram and a tiny 1% use Instagram.

Oldies prefer Facebook 59%, Skype 32% and 17% use WhatsApp.

Despite digital converts trying to get up to speed with technology trends they spend just one hour a day on their smartphone, while digital natives are glued to theirs for an average three hours.

While it good news that the over 55s are getting to grips with technology there’s still 48% who don’t own a smartphone and more than half (59%) have never sent or been included on a family group email.

Lord Jim Knight, Chair of the Tinder Foundation, a not-for-profit social enterprise dedicated to tackling digital exclusion, said: “Technology is a great enabler in bringing the family together and bridging the gap in age, as well as geography.

“However, not everyone takes to new digital devices with the same energy and enthusiasm, and some lack the confidence or skills, so it’s important to ensure that they don’t get left behind by this big change in the way our societies work.”

Source: Mirror