Research finds some surprise results about older Australians using technology

If you listened to younger people or many parts of the media and society these days, you’d assume a lot
The number of older Australians using social media and other technologies is "surging", according to the ABC.

If you listened to younger people or many parts of the media and society these days, you’d assume a lot of older Australians don’t use the Internet or social media.

But one would only need to look around here at SAS to know that’s not true at all.

And the result of some investigations by Griffith University has confirmed that.

According to ABC reports, research has found the number of older Australians using social media and technology to stay connected is “surging”.

One expert told the ABC that Australians aged 75 and older were showing the biggest increase in social media and technology use.

“We are seeing something like a quadrupling of people using [technology] in recent years,” Griffith University socio-technology expert Dr David Tuffley said.

“Nowadays there’s something like 75 per cent of people in that demographic using technology almost every day.”



So, what are people over 60 doing on social media?

Well, it’s as you might have expected – they’re overcoming social isolation

“They’re also using it to educate themselves — health matters for example. They’re accessing government services, doing online banking, even buying things off eBay,” Dr Tuffley told the ABC.

“Basically they’re doing everything that young people are doing, perhaps not to quite the same extent, but I don’t think it’ll be too long until they’re using it at the same rate.”

It’s seen a rise in older Australians teaching each other how to use technology, with many reportedly finding it easier to learn peer-to-peer than being taught by their tech-savvy younger relatives.

After all, wouldn’t you rather learn from a friend than your hashtag, selfie taking grandkids?

And while the numbers are looking good for the over-60s, some believe there’s more that could be done to get older Australians connected online. 

Council on the Ageing SA chief executive Jane Mussared told the ABC she would like to see a big network of classes teaching older Australians how to use technology in the state.

She said older Australians were facing a number of barriers to using technology including the cost and a lack of access.


“So we need to pay attention to ways of people learning and one of the really effective ways of people learning is from their peers,” she said.

“We will, through the budget submission process, be asking the State Government for extra support for people to become more digitally literate.”

Tell us, how often do you use social media? How many of your friends over 60 use social media?


  1. Pingback: Research finds some surprise results about older Australians using technology – Starts at 60 – ItsInvisible

  2. Barbara Vella  

    Yes i do agree, more and more over 60s are using the Internet but more needs to be done because i know of ppl who dont seem to be interested. Its because they feel unable to access the information or maybe even to retain it. Its also costly. I think a nice way of helping these ppl out is for the Government to provide free tablets to ppl over a certain age and the tuition that is required…more of a one on one situation, and even pay with cost of Internet.

  3. Fran Williams  

    We have an iPad Group that meet monthly at a local Art Gallery/Cafe in Scottsdale. It began after we’d all done classes when the NBN began in the area. We help each other with problems and how to use different Apps. Usually 10-15 attending, great fun!

  4. Mary  

    There are classes for seniors in most suburbs – but as always it is only used by those that are confident and curious. There are many who would prefer to say its too difficult. I am always amazed how agile and interested seniors are – even local indoor bowls groups have people in their late 80’s – but of course we don’t see those that are unable or do not want to come –

  5. Joy  

    I use social media every day to keep in touch with family overseas, to follow both knitting and crocheting groups, to find long lost friends and generally see what is happening around the globe and how people react to that. But I use my computer for more than social media as I like to research many things. I am 69 years old and love every bit of this IT world I live in.

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