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More seniors now accessing the Internet, says Pew

Senior citizens are raising the bar for Internet use. For the first time ever, more than half of Americans ages 65 and older are online, according to the Pew Research Center.

Though these adults are less likely than all other age groups to sign on to the Web, a recent Pew survey reported that as of April, the numbers are increasing.

"After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant", the Pew Internet Project findings said.

Once seniors are logged on, the Internet tends to become a fixture of daily life, the report said, citing that 70 per cent of older Americans use some aspect of the Web on a typical day. One in three is likely surfing a social networking site, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Pew survey's six questions asked participants whether they access the Internet on a mobile phone, tablet or other mobile device at least occasionally, and if they have a desktop or laptop computer, an e-reader or a tablet. The tendency leans toward a PC rather than mobile technology, as four-fifths of respondents didn't have a tablet or e-book device.

Technologically inclined seniors don't just limit themselves to PCs - seven in 10 seniors own a mobile phone, Pew reported, a number that grew from nearly 60 per cent two years ago.

Not all older folks are getting into the swing of the Internet, though. The "G.I. Generation", or those adults ages 76 and older, Pew said, are less inclined to connect to the net.

On a grander scale, Pew said more than four-fifths of Americans 18 years and older report that they use the Internet or email at least occasionally; nearly 70 per cent do on a daily basis.