They say you’re only as old as you feel. Even though you’re knees aren’t what they once were or your eyesight isn’t as sharp as it used to be, on your best days, you feel like a teenager. . . a teenager that can remember when Johnny Carson was on the air but a teenager nonetheless.
Well, according to a recent article in Time Magazine, it may not just be in your head. In fact, you and your millennial grandchildren may have more in common than you realize. According to the article, recently published findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveal that teens and seniors enjoy many of the exact same activities!
Seniors and Teens
As it happens, most older Americans surveyed seemed to prefer activities equally favored by teens. In fact, in some cases, seniors seemed to show an even greater interest in pursuits like chatting on the phone or shopping. While your average teenager might prefer to spend the afternoon hanging out in the mall, school remains compulsory. Not so for the retired senior.
This is why, according to the Bureau’s study, the time one spends texting, emailing, calling or snail-mailing in any given day seems to decline dramatically after the age of 19 but then steadily climbs throughout one’s life. By the time you reach the age of 65, says the study, you will likely start eclipsing your grandchild in the time spent socializing on the phone or computer.
A less dramatic but nonetheless revealing trend shows that Americans in the age brackets between 65 and 74 and 75 and above spend the most time shopping on any given day.
Social Media and Seniors
Part of this pattern may relate to the fact that seniors are becoming more tech savvy everyday. Americans over the age of 65 are oft cited for their passionate uptake of computer technology in recent years. Just as teens have made social media such an integral part of their lives, so are seniors doing the same thing.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, nearly half of all seniors are using Social Media sites like Facebook to connect with old friends, look at pictures of grandchildren and remain in touch with family members who live far away. This represents a sharp increase in senior users over just the last five years and suggests that many older Americans are beginning to see the internet as an excellent outlet for socializing, keeping up on current events and making new friends.
Another experience that teenagers and seniors increasingly have in common is that both may be exploring the dating world for the first time. The AARP points out that some seniors are re-entering the dating pool for the first time in many years. Courtship in the digital age may present unchartered territory. The AARP notes that many seniors are finding great comfort and company through senior dating websites or through Facebook connections.
Nothing like the challenge of the unfamiliar to make you feel like a teenager again!