Seniors and Social Media

There’s a group of Americans that is invading the Internet, and it’s not teenagers. New research shows that seniors are growing increasingly tech-savvy! In fact, Internet usage has tripled among seniors, and a whopping 70 percent of seniors use the Internet every single day.

One-third of all seniors frequently use social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and the numbers are steadily growing. According to Science Daily, curious older adults who seek social bonding may use social media as a means of surveillance to see what their kids and grand-kids are doing. Thousands of seniors are finding their college roommates, connecting with childhood friends and reuniting friendships with people they lost touch with years ago. Sites like Facebook can also be an easy way for a friend or family member of a senior to send a quick message to make sure that their loved one is healthy and happy.

There are many other benefits of the Internet and social media for seniors:

  • Research. Seniors can research health issues and eye diseases, as well as find a new doctor or ophthalmologist by just using the Internet.
  • Asking questions. According to studies, “Search” is the most frequently used function on the Internet by seniors. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start when you have a question, and social networking sites like Facebook have special interest groups where seniors can exchange information.
  • Networking. Seniors can sometimes feel isolated, so online communities like Meet Up can help make seniors feel more connected. Even seniors who are home bound can participate in conversation and talk about common interests.
  • Getting involved. Local libraries, hospitals, community centers and churches regularly update their websites about upcoming programs. Seniors can get more involved in their neighborhood, town or city by just browsing their websites or Facebook pages.
  • Job postings. Many seniors are retired but still may want or need some additional income. Most job postings are online, so being computer literate is a must these days.

The Internet is a wonderful tool for learning, networking and entertainment. You’re never too old to start using social media to enhance your life and well-being. Ask a friend or loved one to help you get started, or ask your local library or community center about an introductory computer class (Source: Senior Net).

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