Why Seniors Should Use Social Media

Social media networks are great resources for seniors that can be easily accessed through a smartphone, computer, or tablet. Whether your interest is birdwatching, photography or community events, you can easily seek information and connect with other like minded people. You can share information and have conversations with people of different cultures from all over the world.

Learning new technology can be intimidating for everyone but especially so for seniors. A little bit of knowledge can help to ease the anxiety and even instil excitement to get on board. Let’s now have a look at the benefits of social media and some platforms that are available.


Connections/Interests

Many people use social media to connect with and share experiences with family, loved ones and friends. It’s especially convenient if you live a great distance from them. You can chat using video and share pictures of vacations, grandchildren and former classmates. You can share funny videos, discuss local and international events and even the latest music. If you have mobility issues, reaching out on your devices can help to maintain relationships and connections.


Health Benefits

Social media will help you to reduce isolation, loneliness, depression and anxiety. Using social media will help to stimulate you intellectually and perform better cognitively. You can use it to obtain health information and join groups with people experience the same health issues such as diabetes and heart concerns. Some social media sites encourage tapping into your creative side so you can start new hobbies and further develop the creative side of your brain.

Doctors are increasingly using social media for communicating with their patients. Research also shows that social media can fulfill the basic social needs of seniors which has positive effects on overall health. Studies show that olderadults who use social media have higher memory functioning and performed 25 per cent better in memory tests.


Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media site. According to Statistic Brain, 1 billion users are active each month. In fact, there has been a surge in older users over 55 are the second-biggest demographic of Facebook. A recent poll of U.S. adults between 50 and 64 have their own Facebook pages. A third of them who use social media say it would be difficult to give it up.

Facebook allows you to connect with your friends, kids and grandchildren by sharing video and photo experiences. You have access to news feeds that are relevant to your interests. Facebook aso is an alternative to offer online games marketed to seniors to help boost mental acuity.

Facebook has a ‘The Acts Retirement Life Communities’ page which provides great information such as ‘How to Apply for and Start Collecting Social Security’ or ‘Tips for Downsizing Your Living Space’. You can even take a virtual tour of one of your local communities.

If you decide to join the Facebook platform, be sure to get the proper education and support so it can be used in a safe way. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and secure:

  • Watch for phishing scams – Stay away from free downloads unless you are confident of the source. Never give out personal information on articles you have linked to. These can lead to criminals stealing your credit card information and other data in order to steal your identity.
  • Avoid celebrity clickbait. If you see an ad or video of your favorite celebrity, be aware that clicking the link may take you to a website asking for credit card information. Only give out your private information to websites you are familiar with and trust.
  • Privacy settings. Your privacy settings are essential to protect your identity. Never reveal your address on your profile. Only share your profile with your ‘friends’ and never accept ‘friend’ requests from people you don’t know.
  • Never post vacation or travel plans. Someone outside of your friend group may see your posts. This is an open invitation to burglars to seek out your home. Share your photos and comments with your friends after you return.
  • Facebook Live. Never use Facebook Live when on vacation for reasons mentioned above. Be careful exposing your grandchildren and other family members on live streaming. Always be dressed if you are going to use Facebook Live for obvious reasons.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another great platform for seniors. It’s quite intuitive and offers plenty of boards. These boards offer information as well as interesting and fun tidbits. You can follow pages of other people and organizations. Search pages for topics and hobbies that you are interested in. You can also create your own board and pin your own things to it. Pins can include photos, drawings, videos, animations and internet links.

If you enjoy creative projects, Pinterest allows you to share your pictures by pinning them to boards and your personal pages. You can collect artistic ideas by others from their projects. For example, if you enjoy painting, scrapbooking or knitting, you can share ideas with other like-minded people. You can also find do-it-yourself projects.

Your Pinterest account can be connected to your other social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter. This way, you can you can find your friends and family members who are already on Pinterest. You can then share pins and discuss boards together. Here are reasons why you will enjoy Pinterest:

  • Show off things you love
  • Find inspiration for artistic projects
  • Search for delicious and nutritious recipes
  • Discover exotic travel destinations
  • Seek out humorous boards that make you laugh
  • Coupon Closet

Twitter

Twitter allows companies, celebrities and individuals to quickly send out information in 280 character tweets. You can ‘follow’ your own selection of users to receive news updates, comments and interesting links. Twitter is also one of the safest sites for users as their privacy settings prevent people you don’t know from interacting with you.

Once you have registered and ‘followed’ others, you will receive their tweets in your Twitter feed. You can comment on their tweets and create your own tweets. You can re-tweet information you find valuable. Your tweet can be anything you like as long as it is 280 characters or less. It can be an opinion, a saying or a link to a video on Youtube. You can quickly and directly contact local politicians, celebrities and other people so you can instantly let them know your opinion.

You can tweet about things that don’t require an e-mail but something you share with your friends if you bumped into them. You can follow people with similar interests and develop an online friendship. If people are following you, they will be notified when you tweet and can read and respond to it immediately.

You can follow topics that interest you including: politics, humor, traffic updates and even what’s happening all over the globe. Here are a few accounts you can follow to get you started:


Using social media and other technology allows you to stay independent longer and keep control of your life. Explore the various social media platforms and I’m sure you will find one that suits your personality.

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One Comment on “Why Seniors Should Use Social Media

  1. Pingback: Tips for Seniors During the CoVID-19 Pandemic – Tranquil Aging

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