Seniors Connect to Social Media More Than EverApril 10, 2015
Social media networking sites are not just for the young but also for the young at heart. Staying connected with loved ones, especially if they live far away, is the number one reason seniors have adopted the use of social media, especially Facebook.
Senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic in America to adopt the use of social media in the last several years. In fact, those over 65 who use at least one social media site have risen from just one percent in 2008 to 43 percent in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center – although their numbers are still lower than other age groups.
Benefits of Social Media Networking for Seniors
Older Americans use social media to see pictures of their grandchildren; look up old friends; find classmates and fellow veterans; and connect with people who enjoy similar hobbies and interests. There are even a growing number of seniors looking to find companionship on internet dating websites catering to their age group.
On the Senior Care Center website, Barry Birkett lists five major benefits to seniors for using social media, including:
- Keeping families close: Because the younger generation uses phones less and less for phone calls and more and more to connect and post on social media sites, seniors have learned to go where their families are connecting in order to find out what their loved ones are doing. Facebook is the most popular networking site for seniors to keep up with the lives of children, grandchildren and other family members.
- Photo and video sharing: The majority of photos these days are in digital format and easy to upload to sites like Facebook and Instagram. And every smart phone has a built in video camera, so the old home movies are being replaced with video snippets from the everyday lives of family members that are posted to Facebook, YouTube and other sites. Seniors can log onto these social media sites to view photos and videos of their loved ones.
- Coupons and other discounts: Everyone loves a good deal, especially if you are on a fixed income. Seniors can find discounts and deals online from Facebook ads to deals on Groupon.
- Peace of Mind: Families often live far apart which can be worrisome, especially when elders live alone or have health issues. Social media can help with communication when face to face contact isn’t possible and allow both sides to check in to make sure everyone is getting along well or if a family member needs help.
- Community: Connecting with others is essential to all of us, but it can be difficult for seniors who might be unable to leave home or spend much of their time alone. Social media provides online communities that can be reached from the comfort of one’s own home.
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