One of the many things that confuses brands is the idea that we as a +50 demographic are somehow monolithic and static. Everyone knows that teenagers are famously twitchy in their embrace of neomania. Therefore they think, mature adults must be fully formed and unmovable in the beliefs and behaviors. This is as equally false as it is insulting.
When we started three years ago, almost no one we spoke to was on Instagram, while around 92% were on Facebook. Since then, almost all our people have started using Instagram to some degree, and their use and trust of Facebook has declined measurably.
What has changed? We don’t have as much free time or the social pressures to embrace neomania in the way we did as kids. However, we will adopt new tools and new skills when we see their usefulness outweigh the time it takes to learn to use them. We are seeing some people using Snapchat, mostly to be in touch with their kids, but who knows, in six months we may all have agreed that it’s a tremendously useful platform.
Why do brands and media seem to feel we are non-adopters, static in our skill sets? True, some people are fossilized, but then they are not the ones reading AGEIST. There is an entrenched belief in the culture that says after a certain age people can’t learn new things. Anyone who does learn a new skill is celebrated as a rarity. This plays right into the prevalent culture that people over 50 are a burdensome liability in need of help. We take massive issue with this, but more importantly we have the data, the research and all of you to prove that although fossilization may possibly have been the norm 30 years ago, it is not the case today.
Photo above @yazemeenah with 180k followers on Instagram.