You no longer have to rely only on phone calls to stay in touch with the older generation.
A study called the ‘State of Seniors’ conducted by Antara and Access Media International over October-November 2020 found that seniors are now more text-savy than before.
The survey found that seniors are acquainting themselves with smartphones at a faster pace to stay connected with their family. The Covid-19 pandemic has played a crucial role in the faster adoption of electronic gadgets among the senior population. The survey revealed that nearly 77% of seniors use their smartphones for messaging and chatting purposes.
Seniors also indicated, contrary to the popular belief, that using smartphones is no longer a concern for them. Smartphones also help seniors beat the COVID-19-induced social isolation and stay in touch with their family and children. The fear of social isolation was a major concern expressed by seniors in India during the lockdown.
Unlike the past generations, fear of technology is almost a non-issue. Smartphone use is quite extensive, including online shopping. Chatting/messaging appears to be the main activity for this community at close to 77% using their smartphones for this purpose. Next in line is using the smartphone for work/professional purposes at 53%. In the North, video calls with friends/family come second at about
The survey also revealed that over 76.9% of seniors use smartphones. Further, seniors are also quite familiar with applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram, among others.
Over 78% use WhatsApp/Facetime/Telegram to stay connected with their friends and loved ones. This is by far the most used medium/app for social connectivity. Facebook comes second at about 52%. Despite tough competition from its peers, Facebook is the second most preferred application among seniors.
North has 35% using Zoom, substantively more compared to the other two regions. The use of Twitter in the West is double that of the North at over 21%. The West recorded the highest use of Instagram at 37%, far above North & South.
The study ‘State of Seniors’ is a first of its kind, attempts to understand seniors better, with a special focus on their aspirations, preferences, and opinions in today’s socio-cultural and political context. The Study is done in three regions – North, South and West, covering 2,000 middle and upper-class elders aged 55 and above. The Study was conducted across urban India and specifically in the North (Delhi-NCR), West (Mumbai & Pune), and South (Chennai, Bangalore & Hyderabad).The target sample size was of the Study was 2000, divided equitably between the three regions. The Study has collected 2002 responses. Given the population of seniors in these cities this sample size should provide a confidence level of 96%, with a confidence interval of +/- 5%.
India is currently regarded as one of the most youthful nations where only 8% of its population is 60 years or older. This, however, is going to change substantively by 2050, when seniors are predicted to make up 20% of the population.