TRENDING NOW: Older Adults as Social Media Influencers

The pandemic has allowed older adults to flex their technological muscles. For some, that meant broadening their horizons with social media. New research is finding an interesting trend among some older adults who are becoming “granfluencers” on social media. McKnight’s Senior Living reports on a first-of-its-kind study done by the University of Alabama. The researchers initially thought that older adults had fewer but richer relationships that come with age, as well as more meaningful interpersonal relationships, thus decreasing the need for social media. However, this was not the case.

Researchers found a new trend of socially active adults who primarily used social media to document their stories and to “show off.” Researchers also found that two social media platforms were used for different reasons: Facebook was used for entertainment and diversion, while Instagram was used to cite social activity, travel, and real-world leisure activities. Out of this trend, some fascinating cases appeared: a 91-year-old Instagram influencer with 3.5 million followers uses her account to show off her performance art page; another 75-year-old health and fitness influencer has 1.4 million followers on Instagram; and other older adults doing performative acts on Tik Tok had accrued over 2 million followers!

Older adults using social media to influence the world are bringing attention to the idea that anybody can do these things, and that displaying your true authenticity to the world can be refreshing. The stories that older adults share with the world underscore the complexity of their narratives—and with their millions of followers, it’s clear the world is listening!


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Bonvissuto K. ‘Granfluencers’ taking to social media to ‘show off’. McKnight’s Senior Living. Accessed October 11, 2021.


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