Mississippi Winn has 54 friends on Facebook. She enjoys all the benefits that having a broadband connection and joining a social network provides: communicating with family and reconnecting with friends. One interesting thing about Mississippi: she’s 113 years old! Yes, Facebook is now an online community of not only the young but also a rapidly growing number of older adults.
Today, I’m launching a new effort to promote broadband adoption by the older adult community. Project GOAL (the Project to Get Older Adults Online) will help work with aging organizations to communicate the importance of getting our older community online. It’s clear that having high-speed Internet at home can offer older individuals so many benefits: telemedicine, the convenience and savings of shopping at home, entertainment, health information, and of course social networking! Yet, only 35% of older adults (65 and older) have broadband at home – and the numbers drop considerably in even older age brackets.