Growing trend shows older Americans embracing modern technology - KCTV5

Growing trend shows older Americans embracing modern technology

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Art and Deanna Sorg are part of a growing trend in social media - older Americans embracing modern technology rather than fearing it. 

"About a year-and-a-half-ago my son and daughter said I needed to get into the 21st century and that I should email. I said I thought it would be easier to just pick up the telephone," said Deanna.

"I use the computer everyday at work, but there's always stuff that still amazes me, like I didn't realize on my work computer I had an instant messaging system," added Art.

According to a recent Pew Research report of the 300 million registered Twitter accounts, at least 8 percent are older Americans.  The Sorgs have mastered Facebook and are looking forward to following friends, family, and the famous on Twitter.

Internet expert and blogger Ramsey Mohsen is part of a generation known as "digital natives" - those who've grown up with a mouse in one hand and a cell phone in the other.  He said the speed of Twitter and the community-feel of Facebook are among the reasons why people like the Sorgs are attracted to social media.  He said baby boomers, like his own mother, can keep up with their children no matter where they live.

During the interview between Mohsen and KCTV5's Karen Fuller, Mohsen posts a picture of it on Facebook and is instantly sharing a part of his day with those in the digital world.

"My mom will say, 'Oh I saw you being interviewed, what was that for?' and that sort of thing.  'Where can I find it, where can I view it?' or that sort of thing," he explains.

Mohsen identifies three top reasons older generations might consider sites like Twitter. They get instant information just from reading other people's updates whether they post or not.  Many companies offer Twitter exclusive deals and coupons and often the customer service is faster, saving the user time spent going through an automated system or getting a company's voicemail. 

"That companies and brands behind Twitter and Facebook are listening - not all, but some - and will have teams and processes set up in place so that when you write and you say that you're having problems, that they can actively respond and sort of route you to the right people," Mohsen said as an example.

For the Sorgs, learning to tweet opens up new doors.  Both have family far away, but now a click of the mouse can bridge the gap between getting in touch and staying there.

"If they were using Twitter and I needed an answer right away, I'd use Twitter, because it's instant," said Deanna.

"It seems pretty easy.  I don't think I realized how easy it is.  I heard a lot about it.  You hear about all the celebrities tweeting.  I didn't know there were as many using it as there are," said Art.

The Pew Research also found that 13 percent of online adults use Twitter, that's up 8 percent from this time last year. 

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