Senior Social Media

Seniors and Social Media

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Comfort Keepers reports, “Despite the myth that older people can’t manage technology because of cognitive deficits, seniors are flocking to social media at a rapid pace. In fact, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (and Hangouts), Pinterest, and Instagram all note higher adoption rates among adults 65 and older ─ and see seniors as their fastest growing audience.”

 

I have been 95% AGAINST social media since the beginning, and it hasn’t been until just four months ago that I started using it for the purposes of GreyFeathers.com.

It’s a little gold-mine, this world of social media.

I never quite understood the impact social media had on our lives until recently. When I say our lives, I mean our age group, us GreyFeathers.

A lot of us are going through difficulties. I hear from all sorts of women who have fallen on rough times (homelessness), who are cancer survivors, who have physical limitations, who can’t afford to travel or are afraid, have broken hearts, and a lot with anxiety (I don’t know anything about that).

With that being said, social media is a lifesaver for all of us. It’s a place to go when you can’t go anywhere else. Social media gives us unlimited access to anything and affords us the ability to stay connected to family and friends, as well as meet new people; new people who have similar situations or health concerns or interests like us.

Barry Birkett, of Senior Care Corner, writes, “The importance of socializing as part of a community cannot be overstated, particularly for seniors spending much of their time living isolated at home. It can be critical for those unable to get out of the house to be with others. Social media provides the opportunity to have and be a friend, to congregate without leaving the house, to never be alone, even when you are the only one in the house.”

Lifeline

How many of us have already figured that out? I am certain it’s everyone here (but me until only recently). I have always thought, and still do to a lesser extent, that social media takes us away from those in our present. It’s like no one talks to anyone when they’re glued to their phone or laptop. But for the older generation still beating a drum, social media is their life source some days.

Anja K. Leist, from the University of Luxemburg, for ResearchGate writes, “Online communities are suitable for providing and receiving social support when confronted with a difficult life situation, regardless of geographical location or time. From a practitioner’s perspective, social media can be used to advance health-related knowledge such as information on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of specific conditions and disorders. Further positive consequences have been shown to be overcoming loneliness, relieving stress, and raising feelings of control and self-efficacy.”

My Grandfather

From Left: Uncle John, 17, PopPop, Dad, 21.

With that said, I am reminded of my PopPop – he was 89 when he passed away 20+ years ago. Our family was amazed that when he turned 80, he had gotten himself a computer and used it every day – probably to keep an eye on his stocks. This was before the social media of today.  He was onto something.

If you liked this article, I would be grateful if you shared it with your friends.

 

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