Older Americans join social networking sites

Social network sites, like Facebook, started as domains for younger people. But Pew Research suggests more and more older Americans are joining this online realm:

Half (47%) of internet users ages 50-64 and one-in-four (26%) users ages 65 and older now use social networking sites.

Half of online adults ages 50-64 and one-in-four wired seniors now count themselves among the Facebooking and LinkedIn masses. That’s up from just 25% of online adults ages 50-64 and 13% of those ages 65 and older who reported social networking use one year ago in a survey conducted in April 2009.

While Twitter is not as popular among older Americans, this rush to Facebook and other sites is interesting. If more older Americans are on these sites, does it change the online culture? How many of these older Americans join such sites to interact with younger people, particularly children and grandchildren?

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