The Australian Seniors Technology Survey has some interesting insights into the attitudes that Australian seniors have toward technology, health, and other areas of life. As technology breakthroughs continue to make more tools available to us, seniors aren’t only keeping up with these conveniences, but they’re actively embracing them.
What does this mean for marketers or those working in the social media space? Here’s what you need to know.
1. 4 out of 5 seniors use social media
4 out of 5 seniors rely on social media as a platform for staying connected. Those who use social media spend an average of 12 hours a week on it, and altogether seniors log 3.3 billion hours a year on social media. 86% of seniors say it helps them keep in touch with family and friends, and 62% say it helps reduce feelings of social isolation. Staying up to date with news and current affairs is another important role of social media, with 66% agreeing social media offers value in that area. Some are even Instagram famous, like Baddie Winkle (picture above).
2. A minority of seniors find social media has negative impacts
Some seniors agree that social media has a negative impact, but these are in the minority. For example, 35% say social media is usually more frustrating than fun, but 27% say it takes up too much time. 26% of seniors say social media increases feelings of fear of missing out.
3. The majority of seniors embrace technology
84% of seniors are willing to consider adopting new technology, 71% agree advancing technology allows them to be more independent, and 71% feel comfortable learning to use new technology on their own. 73.8% of seniors also said they would feel confident when confronted by technological challenges like slow internet, hackers, or viruses.
As many as 3 out of 5 seniors believe they're tech-savvy, and at the same time, 2 in 3 are concerned about how advancing technology could impact future generations. And, the interesting thing is that they are not shy to create social content.
4. Seniors' favourite devices are smartphones
75.6% of seniors nominate their smartphone as their favorite device, while 71.6% say it's their laptop. 51.8% consider their tablet to be their favorite device.
5. Seniors think technology empowers health management
85.5% of seniors view technology as an empowering force in managing their health. Specific tools used include activity trackers (56.1%), apps for monitoring blood pressure (30.2%), apps for monitoring heart rate (27.5%), apps for tracking sleep (19.1%) and counting calories (16.8%)
6. Seniors use the internet as a health research tool
A significant number of seniors use the internet as a health research tool, with 2 in 5 checking their symptoms online before they see their doctor. 60% said they did this because it doesn't cost anything to check online, 56% said it was because it's quite easy to do, and 48% said it was because it can be done at any time.
However, it's clear most of these seniors see the internet as more of a health research tool than a replacement for seeing a doctor as 3 out of 4 who seek online diagnoses eventually consult a doctor. Additionally, 96% said they would ultimately trust a doctor more than online diagnoses to check for health issues.
At the same time, seniors are open to online diagnoses, with 47% believing online symptom checkers are accurate tools and 2 in 3 willing to consider using online checkers more in diagnoses if they're proven to be as accurate as a doctor’s diagnosis. And Aussie seniors anticipate that technology will impact healthcare more, as 2 out of 3 believe technology will change the doctor's surgery as we know it today.
More than 3 out of 5 seniors would also consider using AI home assistants for health emergencies. Nearly 2 out of 5 seniors believe advancing technology in the coming years will be able to provide the same level of diagnosis and care as doctors provide today, and more than 2 out of 5 believe this will reduce or eliminate the need for doctors.
7. Less than half of seniors would choose to live indefinitely
Surprisingly, most seniors wouldn’t choose to live indefinitely even if they remained in relatively good health, with only nearly 2 out of 5 agreeing they would choose to do so. This doesn't mean seniors aren't open to surgical technology, however; 9 out of 10 seniors said they would replace their body parts if the technology existed to extend their lifespan. Similarly, the vast majority (82%) agreed they would undergo elective surgery if it helped extend their lifespan.
Although seniors might be the latest to adopt a technology, they're enthusiastic about it. Seniors confidently use devices, social media, and health-focused technology tools to stay connected and manage their health. Social media is largely seen as a positive force that helps them stay in touch with loved ones, and seniors find the internet supports their healthcare through self-diagnosis. All in all, seniors are confident, open-minded, and active users when it comes to technology.
|Author Bio: Luke Fitzpatrick is a Forbes contributor and a guest lecturer at Sydney University. He also writes about productivity, personal finance, and digital marketing.|