Older Grown ups Are Upgrading Tech for a Better On the internet Encounter

The pandemic might be the bridge to shut the generational tech divide as more mature grownups flocked to undertake know-how in 2020. Utilization greater throughout the technological spectrum, in accordance to AARP’s annual technologies survey. Older adults are streaming motion pictures and Television shows, video clip-chatting with beloved kinds and colleagues, and buying new intelligent gadgets, this sort of as TVs, telephones, watches, tablets, home assistants, and house security.

With social distancing proscribing social conversation, grown ups 50 and older not only snatched up new gadgets, but also were being additional possible to use them day-to-day. They bought more wise TVs, smartphones, tablets, and wearables, and audio gadgets such as earbuds and headsets. 

Limitations weren’t absolutely eradicated, even so. More mature grownups cited charge, knowledge gaps, and privacy fears as top reasons they might be hesitant to undertake technological innovation. Additional than half (54%) admitted they want a superior grasp of the devices they’ve acquired, while much more than just one in a few (37%) reported they lacked confidence when making use of the technological innovation that has in any other case come to be so substantially more common in their lives.

Possessing A lot more Equipment

Possession in all devices is up, according to the study. More mature grownups are buying smartphones, residence assistant technological know-how (this kind of as Amazon’s Echo), wearable technologies (including smartwatches), and tablets (this sort of as iPads). And ownership is up across age groups. Not only are grownups in their 50s buying equipment people today in their 60s and 70s are purchasing a lot more, also.

Adults 70-in addition have a individual fondness for tablets, with extra than 50 % (53%) proudly owning a single, up from 40% in 2019. These tablets are not just sitting on a espresso desk gathering dust: 69% of individuals 70-moreover stated they use their tablets each day. 

Paying out is up appreciably as nicely, with more mature adults paying out on normal $1,144 on tech, up from $394 in 2019. The leading three tech buys are smartphones, intelligent TVs, and Bluetooth headsets/earbuds. 

Being Connected Whilst Distanced

Texting, e mail, social media, and online video chatting have become commonplace as the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled persons to remain household, separated from good friends and household. Additional than 80% of individuals 50-as well as said they use engineering in some variety to remain connected, many on a each day foundation. 

Perhaps credited with assisting people sustain relationships through a period of unparalleled social distancing, technological innovation gave more mature grown ups some good vibes, with 44% indicating they have a additional beneficial feeling towards tech now than they did prior to the pandemic.

More mature adults’ tech enjoy won’t be fading in the foreseeable future. In specific, individuals who identified video clip conferencing anticipate working with it even just after the pandemic ends. Are living digital gatherings also acquired loyal lovers. While content is the most important cause for attending a reside virtual celebration, lots of indicated they will continue on to tune in almost even after it is harmless to congregate in person. 

Streaming Articles Has Greater

Live activities are not the only type of entertainment more mature grown ups are savoring they are also logging in a lot more often to streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and, far more just lately, Disney+. Extra more mature adults are also employing intelligent TVs. In 2020, 64% owned a good Television, up from 49% in 2019. Even among the those people 70 and more mature, extra than 50 % now personal a good Tv. 

The transfer to clever TVs also signals a substantial shift in viewing practices. Viewers are going absent from standard community and cable stations in favor of streaming options. Just 38% of older people 50-moreover mentioned they mainly viewed network and cable Tv set in 2020, a staggering drop from 60% in 2019. 

Considerations About Privateness, Literacy, and Accessibility Continue to be

Even as more older grown ups are relaxed applying engineering for function, amusement, and communication, safe net obtain is continue to a barrier. As in past years, the survey observed obstacles to superior-velocity internet entry. Whilst 76% of adults 50-furthermore have wireline high-pace web, 18% do not have online entry or only have access by means of their cellular phone or satellite supplier — and 5% are not confident if they world-wide-web link at property. Much more than half of all those in rural spots say entry to large-velocity net is a trouble for them. 

Expense is also a issue. 6 in 10 grown ups 50-moreover, no matter of their household place, explained that the price tag of substantial-velocity net is a problem for them personally.

Outside of infrastructure, many however grapple with queries on how to use a product as well as how to protect their privateness. Somewhere around 44% of older grown ups are not self-confident that what they do on line stays private, and extra than half are not assured the data they give to or obtain from their clever household assistant stays non-public.


The on the internet survey of 2,807 older people ages 18 and more mature (n = 2,271 older people 50-in addition) was conducted involving September 25 and October 20, 2020 in English and Spanish. The study took about 26 minutes to finish and was weighted according to demographics for U.S. adults age 18+, 50+ and by era.

For much more info, you should call Brittne Kakulla at [email protected]. For media inquiries, be sure to speak to [email protected].

Recommended quotation:

Kakulla, Brittne. 2021 Tech Trends and the 50-Additionally: Leading 10 Biggest Trends. Washington, DC: AARP Research, April 2021. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00420.001