Older adults in the US are typically slower to adopt newer technologies than their younger counterparts. This has been particularly true with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. However, a survey from December 2019 found that Americans 50 years and older are increasing their use of these devices.
The 2020 Tech and the 50+ Survey from AARP found that smartphone adoption has increased to 86% among US adults in their 50s and 81% among adults in their 60s. In 2014, only 48% percent of those age 50 and older owned smartphones. In addition, this age group has increased their use of tablets to 52% in 2019 from 30% in 2014.
How are older Americans using these devices? The survey found these results:
- Smartphone use by people over 50, other than sending/receiving messages:
- Maps, directions and traffic information – 68%
- Visiting specific websites or surfing the internet – 58%
- Getting news and other information – 58%
- Accessing social media sites – 55%
- Tablet use by people over 50:
- Visiting websites or surfing the internet – 54%
- Getting news and other information – 43%
- Accessing social media – 41%
- Playing games – 41%
- 60% of tablet users use their devices daily.
The survey data came from 2,607 US adults age 50 and over who responded to the survey.