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Australia’s ‘silver surfer’ senior community connecting up online

The online world is often linked with the younger, 'tech-savvy' generation, who don't use the mail or home phone to connect with friends but instead engage through Facebook, Twitter and Skype.

But new research carried out by Australian mobile company Optus has found that our grandparents and other elderly citizens are also jumping in on the social media hype!

Over half (54 per cent) of Australians over 60 are said to be actively using social networks, with more seniors connecting up online and proving to be more in touch with technology than ever before.

A majority of silver surfers (76 per cent) use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, with grandparents using it as a tool to keep up with their grandchildren.

Seniors spend an average of 128 minutes online daily, with the most popular activities being looking through pictures of their grandchildren, e-shopping and checking what their own kids are doing.

A huge number (85 per cent) of seniors agree that being connected online makes their life easier, with 63 per cent saying that it helps to keep them socially active.

The technology device of choice for the majority are PCs (79 per cent), followed by mobile phones (68 per cent) and laptops at 64 per cent.

Seniors also own a surprising number of gadgets, with over 60s on average having 3.4 devices each, which includes smartphones (31 per cent), tablets (22 per cent) and e-readers (20 per cent).

Greypath chief executive officer Ray Lewis said: "As technology becomes increasingly
important to how we socialise, and even run our businesses, it’s time for Australia’s senior citizens to become part of this world too."

"We need to realise the value of technology – that it lets us easily connect with family and friends, shop from the comfort of our own living rooms, and learn how to do all sorts of new and wonderful things. There are currently thousands of seniors on the web – why not come and join our global village?."

Posted by April Revake.