Are you a senior 60 or older and find it hard to stay up to date with your families activities? Want to stay in contact with old friends that live far away? Is there an online community you’d like to join for gaming or hobbies? Having trouble finding cheap ways to entertain yourself? Want to learn more about a certain topic?
If you said yes to any of those questions, social media is for you!
At first, you may find yourself feeling apprehensive, which is normal for trying anything new but social media isn’t new for the aging. In fact, More than four-in-ten (45%) of seniors under 75 report using social media and 20% over 75 do too according to research conducted by Pew Research Center.
These numbers are only increasing year after year as seniors are discovering how it enriches their daily lives. If you’re still not convinced, learn more about internet safety for seniors to get right on your way to feeling confident and ready to be a social networker.
Now let’s talk about the 5 benefits among many of using social media and how it’s useful for anyone no matter their age.
1.Keeping in Contact
Social media is hands down one of the best ways to keep in contact, especially for those experiencing limited mobility or those who have an active social life they can’t seem to keep up with. Social media sites allow seniors to connect with family members and see what they are up to by the pictures they upload or the posts they write.
It’s easy to share things like pictures of grandkids, a funny video, or favorite recipes with friends.
You can even chat with a best friend thousands of miles away or reconnect with childhood friends you’ve lost contact with, past neighbors and previous college and/or high-school colleagues.
Avoid feeling isolated and depressed by knowing your family and friends are just one click away at any moment no matter the time of day.
Most social networking sites are free! As long as you have a way to connect to the internet whether it’s on your home computer, at the library or on your smartphone or tablet, there’s always a way to stay in touch with loved ones.
Experience a ton of options for entertainment online.
Arrange an online game night with your friends or play alone as many social sites offer free games. From word games to action-packed missions, there’s something for everyone.
Don’t have cable, no problem! Find an unlimited supply of movies, tv shows, funny cat videos and more from video-sharing websites.
Some seniors have even “cut the cord” and canceled their cable provider altogether. After discovering original content, old television shows, and movies, they decide this is the better option for their budget and interests.
Uncover millions of entertainment options waiting to entertain you for hours.
If you’re a bookworm, browse sites dedicated to recommending other books related to ones you’ve already read, favorite reads from friends and even top suggestions from around the world.
Don’t forget about music streaming sites giving access to billions of songs at your fingertips. Don’t need a record player to hum the day away and enjoy hits from Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, other classics and new music released daily.
3. Support Groups
Did you recently lose a loved one or pet? Battling an illness such as cancer? Trying to escape an addiction? Looking to lose weight?
Seeking advice from others seniors on any topic is easy to find online in social groups such as chat rooms, forums, and blogs.
Grow Your Support Group
Sometimes family and friends might not understand what you’re going through even if they want to help. Engaging with others dealing with the same issues can help prepare, guide, support and fix struggles you may be experiencing or will encounter.
There are thousands, if not millions of support groups filled with helping members. It’s a great feeling to know support is available when needed most, 24/7, any day or time of the year.
Nurture and grow an interest or hobby by joining a dedicated online community. Read interesting blogs, articles, posts and more to further your knowledge of anything your mind can dream up. Post a question online and get answers from family & friends.
Find online classes to join, step by step tutorials and guides on almost any subject. If there’s a certain format suited best for your learning style, you will find it online.
After all, it’s extremely important to keep aging minds active.
There is no limit from the knowledge which can be gained from researching online. Aim high and start a new business or hobby from skills gained from being active online.
5. Civic Engagement
Let your voice be heard! Use social media to follow important issues, connect with politicians, gain new information and interact with others supporting the same causes.
Seniors Can Influence Social Change
Although liking and sharing a post isn’t the same as voting, it facilitates action.
Encourage others to vote and share issues initiating an open conversation around important topics. Be cognizant when sharing political topics online as not everyone shares the same views as you. Encourage healthy debates but remember to discourage heated arguments, name calling and to keep an open mind.
There are tons of ways using social media can enhance lives, give freedom, grow knowledge, entertain and more.
If you’re not social online yet, consider its benefits and where it can be implemented into your life. Ask other seniors, friends and family members how they use it to find additional benefits that might not be mentioned in this article.