Gandma’s probably online

Rob Messinger
Rob Messinger // June 7, 2012

Remember when technology was the province of the young — when older people considered it too much trouble to take on the latest tools?

The young still lead the way, but there is a lot of evidence that older Americans are part of the new realities.

Today’s example: A new Pew Internet & American Life Project survey says that more than half of the 65-and-older crowd is on the Internet. This is the first time in the Pew tracking polls that the number has climbed above 50 percent for that age group.

So what are they doing on the Internet? About a third (34%) say social networking is part of the mix — mostly to stay in touch with family. But email is the most common activity, with 86 percent of seniors saying they use it.

As you may have noticed in the chart above, Pew says more than two-thirds (69%) of older Americans also have cellphones.

For the record, some other outfits say the number’s much higher: For instance, this Experian report said 83 percent of older Americans had mobile phones.

Either way, the world is changing for everyone.