Data suggests that more seniors are using social media everyday than those who are reading their daily newspapers. More and more seniors are learning platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Skype and Twitter. While social media has often been labeled for the younger generation, a study by the Pew Research Center showed 34 percent of seniors use social media sites. Some estimates show that by the end of 2020, as many as 50 million seniors will adopt a social media platform, and there are no signs of slowing down. Here are five good reasons why so many seniors are going social:
Get Local News
Twitter allows users to stay in touch with local events. With a quick search you can see what topics are trending and Twitter will redirect you to the popular articles it has available. This may be the simplest way to find out what is happening near you.
Wanting to keep up with the grandkids or family? Video chatting networks like Skype or Zoom allow you to keep in touch even miles apart, while photo sharing platforms like Instagram let you scroll through images of family and grandchildren.
Take Advantage of Health Benefits
Studies have shown that social media might help reduce isolation, loneliness, and depressive symptoms. Older adults who use social media regularly perform better intellectually and show signs of improved health. Researchers have also found that the use of social media is mentally stimulating and “satisfies basic social needs”.
Social networks can be used to follow topics and hobbies you enjoy like on Pinterest or to discover discussion boards for people with similar experiences or health concerns. Blogs offer a variety of topics to dive into and connect to with others.
Bridge the Generational Gap
Seniors are more than capable of learning new technology. And when they do it can help them find something in common to talk about from current events, artists and funny videos. It helps grandparents know what their grandkids are excited about and help them stay in tune.
Ready to get started but need more information on privacy and social media etiquette? Check out DOROT. DOROT’s mission is to “alleviate social isolation and provide concrete services to older adults,” and the organization is now offering computer courses designed for seniors. These helpful programs can easily be accessed from the comfort of your home with a computer and a phone. If you need a little help getting started you can also ask a friend or family member. Social media is a great way to start feeling connected again.