Generational biases are hard to shift, with worldwide perceptions of Older Adults worsening during the pandemic as many felt relegated to the sidelines of society. But this cohort are taking back the reins, and changing misguided preconceptions around what they can do and be.
With research from Age Scotland finding that only 7% of pensioners feel positively represented in the media, 51% dont feel as if their contributions to society are valued, and 36% said that they had been made to feel burdensome upon society, ageist stereotypes continue to be prevalent. But in an era of positive ageing, and with many people saying “you're only as old as you feel”, representations of this age group online and in the media are beginning to change.
Older TikTok users are challenging outdated perceptions of age and are rewriting the rules around how this demographic should behave online and IRL, Boomer YouTubers are turning to tech-mediated creativity and are redefining content creator archetypes, and Older Adults in China are gaming for connection and community.
Platforms like Taobao have emerged as a way to make e-commerce accessible to Older Adults in China and many from this age group - as well as Boomers - are starting to embrace all things tech. Figures like Fezco's grandma from the second season of Euphoria show the demand for age-inclusive on-screen representation, and silver foxes across the board are rewriting the fashion rulebook. With Older Adults defying ageist stereotypes head-on, better age inclusivity may win over old and young consumers alike.