Half of Brits now keep in touch with grandparents and elderly relatives by text message, email and even Facebook, a study has revealed. The study was conducted by Twentieth Century Fox to launch new film ‘Parental Guidance’, which sees the clash of modern day parenting with old school parenting when a pair of luddite grandparents, played by Bette Midler and Billy Crystal, are left to look after the grandkids.
- Instead of picking up the phone, many are now using social networking sites to update their relatives with 22 per cent of grannies claiming they are regular users of Facebook.
- Nearly one in twenty youngsters claims to have grandparents on the micro-blogging site Twitter and half of those said they regularly keep tabs on their tweets.
- Nearly a quarter of UK grandparents now own a laptop and one in twenty regularly communicate with their grandkids on Skype or instant messenger according to the poll.
- One in ten even owns a top of the range tablet computer.
- Half can competently text, 46 per cent are avid email users and 15 per cent send messages flawlessly on Facebook.
Of the 500 grandparents polled 78 per cent of them described themselves as fairly competent when it comes to online communication.
And a further 35 per cent felt that it was important to have a presence online to keep in touch with family.
Dr Ros Altmann, Director-General of Saga said: ‘’It’s great to see that grandparents are moving with the times and keeping in touch with grandchildren via modern means. Grandparents play a huge part in young people’s lives and it’s important to be able to keep in touch – whether it’s via Twitter, Facebook or old fashioned methods.
‘’Many people over a certain age may shy away from embracing new technology so it’s encouraging that increasing numbers of grandparents are in touch by using the latest technology. We hope to see many more adopting new technologies and encourage younger generations to take the time to teach their grandparents about these things.”
The survey found one in twenty grandparents started communicating via Facebook, Twitter and Skype when the grandkids went travelling or off to university.
When questioning 1500 11-25 year olds as part of the study, a quarter of young adults said they now keep in touch with their grandparents by text, email, Facebook, instant messaging and Twitter.
The study found two thirds of young people said the average grandparent was more tech savvy than they were 5 years ago.
Dr Ros Altmann of Saga continued: ‘’The stereotype is that grandparents are a bit out of touch with technology and are behind the times. Increasingly nowadays, that simply isn’t true as grandparents are regularly in touch with their grandchildren via modern media.
‘’Grandparents play a big part in bringing up their grandchildren so it’s inevitable they will want to keep in touch when the kids grow up in to young adults.”