Social media used by two-thirds of over 65s in the South East

Social media is used by more than 70 per cent of people aged over 65 who use the internet in the South East.

A recent nationwide YouGov study found that Facebook was the most popular social media platform used by over 65s in the South East, with 61 per cent accessing the social network website.

Almost one-third (31 per cent) used video sharing site YouTube and around one-fifth (22 per cent) used instant messaging service, WhatsApp.

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One in ten of respondents to the survey said they use it to keep up-to-date on news and current affairs and a similar amount (7 per cent) use it for entertainment – to play games or watch or read content.

However, the majority of respondents – two-thirds (66 per cent) – said they use social media to keep in touch with friends and family.

Patrick Stannah, managing director at Stannah Stairlifts, which commissioned the study, said: “It’s clear to see that the popularity of social media transcends the generations, with older people making the most of the technology available, especially to keep in touch with family and friends or update themselves with the latest news.

“We know that the over 65s can be at risk of loneliness, so having other ways of keeping in touch with the people closest to them is very important.

“As this study shows, retired people are keeping up to speed with new technology, which can help to keep their minds active and encourage them to learn new skills.

“There’s no reason why older people can’t continue to keep ahead of the technology curve, benefitting from the positive experience that being part of social networks can offer.”

More than half (52 per cent) of those surveyed in the region said that they spend up to 15 minutes a day on social media, but with one in ten (10 per cent) spending over 60 minutes on social media sites in a typical day.

The most popular devices for older people to access social media in the region are a personal computer or laptop, with over half (52 per cent).

Just over one in ten (13%) use a smartphone to access social media.