Social media has taken the world by storm. It serves as a platform to disseminate news and information, share experiences and connect with friends and family.
And though sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype and others may seem to be geared toward younger populations, older adults are increasingly creating social media accounts for themselves.
In fact, about 34% of seniors today use social media, as compared with just 2% in 2008, according to the most recent statistics from the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, approximately 42% of adults over the age of 65 now own smartphones, up from 18% in 2013.
With such an uptick in tech adoption come the benefits of social media for seniors.
– Connection: Older adults turn to social media to remain close with loved ones who live far away, or to rekindle friendships from the past. Since isolation is a major health concern for seniors, the Internet and social media have become important tools to combat loneliness and other depressive symptoms in this manner.
– Education: Whether it’s relating to others with similar life and health issues or simply reading about different ailments, social media can be a portal for information and solidarity. Think of it like a digital support group that seniors can access from the comfort of their homes, or an outlet for learning.
– Health: Social media has been proven to be important for the health and wellbeing of seniors, according to recent research. Seniors who used social media, along with Skype and email, recorded an improvement in mental and physical capacity, one study from England and Italy found.
Social Media Options
Consider the following options for social media for seniors, depending on your goals and interests.
– Facebook: Here, users can look up and connect with friends and relatives. Keeping in touch is a main focus of Facebook.
– Twitter: This site allows users to follow as many people as they would like, from news outlets to celebrities and athletes. Twitter is a great place to hone in on interests and stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the world.
– Instagram: Visually focused, Instagram is a platform to share photos and videos. Sharing experiences and keeping up with the happenings of loved ones is the purpose of this social media site.
– Pinterest: Ideal for creatives, Pinterest is the place to go to find recipes, design ideas, travel inspiration and more. The site allows users to connect with people they know, as well as brands, magazines and others.
– LinkedIn: Seniors who are still working may be interested in LinkedIn, a site that connects professionals with one another for networking purposes.
– Google+: With everything from video calls and instant messaging to photo and document sharing, Google+ is a social media network from Google that combines several services in one place.