We live in an age where the majority of the time that we spend socializing is done online. It’s become the primary place for sharing pictures and words describing our travels and trials and bragging about our young ones’ accomplishments. We’re watching each other grow up and grow old on social media.
And, social media isn’t just for the younger generation. According to the Pew Research Center, people age 65 and older is a rapidly growing demographic using social media. A study they conducted showed that 34 percent of senior adults are using a social media site, with as many as 50 million seniors adopting a social media platform this year. There are no signs of the growth slowing down.
The Benefits of Social Media for Seniors
Besides just being fun passing the time on their favorite social media site, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are three popular platforms that provide numerous benefits for seniors. Here are five of them:
1. Keeps them connected
Social media is a great way to share experiences and stay connected to friends and family. With people that are important to them spread out across the miles, connecting is only a click away. Video chatting networks like Skype and Zoom let seniors see family members and share their stories. Instagram helps seniors see a near limitless collection of pictures of kids, grandchildren, and even former classmates.
2. Has health benefits
Studies have shown that social media helps reduce isolation, loneliness, and symptoms of depression. It’s often difficult for seniors to get out of the house, especially those with mobility challenges. Researchers have found that senior adults who regularly use social media perform better intellectually and they show signs of improved health.
3. Bridges the intergenerational gap
Younger generations may think that their elders have trouble with technology, but seniors are proving them wrong. Social media allows different generations to find things in common to talk about, from humorous videos and memes to current events. Grandparents can know what music and movies are popular, even when the new Taylor Swift album will be released.
4. Sparks interests
Social networks allow seniors to follow and learn about many topics they enjoy, like cooking, traveling, health, etc. Blogs or social media pages exist for just about every topic imaginable. Some seniors even participate in discussion forums that allow them to share their thoughts and discuss mutual experiences.
5. Is a valuable news source
Social media allows seniors to stay current on local, national, and world news events. For example, Twitter shows what topics are trending and redirects them to popular articles. News syndicates can be followed on Facebook and show up regularly in their feed. Social media is one of the simplest ways for seniors to get caught up on important issues.
For a senior or family member feeling apprehensive about who can view their profile, pictures, and posts on social media, it’s important to know that each platform has privacy protections in place. Seniors can be as visible or invisible as they want.
For example, Instagram lets seniors choose to make their profile private. Only people they approve as friends can view their posts. They can also block and report users that post inappropriate content.
Social media allows seniors to stay connected to loved ones and the outside world. Encourage the senior in your life to get active with social media, if they’re not already. You can bond with them as you get them set up and show them how to participate.
We Help Seniors Stay Socially Active and Connected
At Home Instead, our mission is lifting the spirits of those we serve by offering them dependable and affordable home care options. To learn more about Home Instead Senior Care or to schedule a FREE consultation for a senior in Naples, Fort Myers, Charlotte County, or the surrounding areas today, please visit us at www.homeinsteadswfl.com.