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‘Silver surfers’ (elderly internet users over 55 years of age) are joining the craze for going online at a faster rate than the average European user, according to a recent survey.

The research which was conducted by the European Interactive Advertising Association has revealed that 68% of users over the age of 55 have a broadband connection at home.

This increased internet use by elder users has caused a boom in the use of social networking sites. It is suggested that one in five ‘over 55s’ visit social networking sites at least once a month, with sites such as Friends Reunited, MySpace and Facebook driving this trend.

Also since 2005, the use of online blogs has increased by 113%. ‘Silver surfers’ now spend an average of 8.8 hours on the net a week, an increase of 18% since 2005. If this current trend continues, silver surfers will be spending 100% of their time online by 2076!

Shopping online is another area that is booming with growth driven by silver surfers. It is now thought that 74% of users over 55 have purchased something over the web. Travel sites are the most popular, with 60% visiting travel sites. Silver surfers also have a penchant for buying antiques on eBay.

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