My grandmother is on Twitter. I thought it would take dragging her kicking and screaming to get her to buy into technology in this century, but I was wrong. Actually when I think about it, it's perfect for her. She is such a showboat. She loves to show off everything she does and now she can announce to the world through social media everything about her square dancing and card playing feats.
I was a closing keynote speaker for adminstrative professionals HR conference last week. One of the other HR speakers was talking about reaching out to older populations through social media. This generation is quickly catching up, using social media tools to stay in touch with kids, parents, even at work.
Consider these stats:
- Social networking use amoung Internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled- from 22% to 42% over the past year
- The HR speaker suggested that between April 2009 and May 2010, social networking use amoung Internet users ages 50-64 grew by 88%- from 25% to 47%
- During the same period, use amoung those ages 65 and older grew 100%, from 13% to 26%
- By comparison, social networking use amoung users ages 18- 29 grew by only 13%- from 76% to 86%
- 47% of Internet users ages 50-64 now use social networking sites
- 26% of Internet users ages 65Plus now use social networking sites
According to FutureWorks Social Media keynote Speaker Brian Solis, social media is about sociology and psychology more than technology.
I agree wholeheartedly. I know my grandmother doesn't update her status on Facebook and Twitter because she adores technology. She does it because it feeds her psychology. She loves people and she loves to report (with flair) about what she is doing, how her grandchildren are, her viewpoint on politics and whatever else suits her at the moment. She has a voice and wants people to hear it. She also really likes feeling connected to the world. When you are 86 years old it is not as easy to get out to social events and see people. Online communities do the trick.
The other speaker for the administrative professional's conference suggested expectations for today's administrative professionals are high and social media may be the way to stay connected even at work.
Don't be surprised if your grandmother calls you looking for your Twitter handle.
How do you use social media to stay on top of things?
See our HR Speaker blog Managing Generations: Facebook
"More new information has been produced in the past 30 years than in the previous 5000. And the total of all printed knowledge doubles every eight years." Peter Large