Seniors and Facebook

Facebook and other social media outlets really seem to be taking over somewhat. When it comes to communication, connection and networking, these days it is almost impossible to manage if one is not social-media savvy. But what happens with the elder generation? They are hardly adept to managing with so many new things. Indeed, the younger one is, the easier it is to learn. Ipso facto, seniors will have a hard time with social media.

But that does not have to be the case. In fact, this is a great way for the younger and older generations to connect and bridge the gap that so often exists between them. When a grandchild teaches their grandparent how to use Facebook for example, this is a great way for them to keep up with their lives even though they might not be able to see them so much. So if grandson Danny has a new girlfriend, granddad Fred can enjoy seeing them together.

In addition, social media can help resume and enhance seniors’ connection to culture. So often – because they are out of the loop physically – the culture in their life wanes. But now, while it’s true they still may not be able to visit certain places and enjoy tourist attractions like they did in their youth due to reduced mobility issues, if they do learn the basics of social media, a virtual cultural world will open up to them. one example is the Scot Lit Fest – a virtual book festival that was put on by the non-profit Saltire Society organization as part of its 80th anniversary celebrations. This organization was set up nearly a century ago to preserve and revere Scottish heritage and culture. The event took place at the end of June and comprised live video streams, Facebook and Twitter chats and more. So for those not able to get there, and for those who want to learn about Scottish culture this is a great way to do it. And then there was the 2016 World Cultural Festival which was three days of “celebrating diversity, plurality and acceptance,” that attracted over 3.7 million visitors for more than 155 countries. It was launched to mark 35 years of “service, humanity, spirituality and human values,” embedded in the Art of Living, honoring “diversity in cultures from across the world while simultaneously highlighting [its] unity as a human family.” There are many more of these festivals too, so once the person knows how to find their way around the web and social media, they can truly be a part of a virtual world, that would not be open to them in reality.

In addition, figuring out ones way around the computer is good for the elderly who have challenges with their fine motor skills. Getting back on the computer can really help them improve these issues in a fun way. Enhanced fine motor skills will then in turn, improve other areas in their life.

It seems that seniors are definitely getting with the program as it were. According to an article in Adweek last year, over half of online adults in the U.S. aged 65 or over are now using Facebook. Seniors seem to prefer Facebook over Twitter (only 10 percent use that social platform) but this is a great start. If you’re a senior, learn how to Facebook right here.