More Seniors Learn to Text Amid Pandemic

Even as restrictions return in the wake of spikes in highly infectious delta variant COVID cases, there are silver linings to be found in the discoveries people made during the past year and a half of pandemic life.  For older adults, technology use has increased and more seniors learned to text, many finding the communication style more agreeable than phone calls. 

According to a recent survey of Americans over the age of 65, many said they learned to text over the pandemic.  Although texting, video chatting, phone calls, and emails aren’t a replacement for in-person conversation, texting does have some advantages, especially for older adults with hearing problems. 

In crowded gatherings, seniors with hearing loss may find it difficult to follow conversations, even while using a hearing aid, because of background noise.  In circumstances where it is difficult to hear others speak, many older adults withdraw and left untreated, hearing loss can lead to isolation, loneliness, and a greater risk for developing dementia. 

Maintaining social connections is one of the foundations of aging well, and the pandemic has highlighted just how important relationships and community are to our health and happiness.  Results from the April 2021 Pew Research Center survey found that about 38 percent of adults 65 and older say the internet has been essential or important to them personally during the pandemic, up from 30 percent in the year prior to the COVID outbreak. 

The survey also found that about 70 percent of American adults say that texts, group messaging apps, voice and video calls have helped them stay connected, at least a little, with friends and family.  Although we all need to unplug from devices at times and limit our exposure to news media, technology when used responsibly can be a boon for seniors who may already live in isolation without a global pandemic. 

Not sure what all those texting abbreviations mean?  Don’t get into trouble misusing texting acronyms; LOL isn’t “Lots of love” as some people may have mistaken it for in the early days of texting, it’s “Laughing out loud” and one of the oldest and most commonly used texting abbreviation.  Visit Grammarly Writing Tips to learn more about texting abbreviations.