Research shows that senior citizens are among the fasted growing segment on Facebook. This makes sense because social media sites like Facebook allow seniors to keep in touch with friends and family across the miles. Using social media also provides an opportunity for interaction with their favorite brands or television shows. Web chatting sites such as Skype or Google Hangouts also provide face-to-face interaction as a way to truly stay connected to friends and family.
Here are seven benefits that can be reaped by the tech and social media savvy senior:
- Keeping in touch. Consider looking up college or high school classmates as well as friends and family. Read blogs, share pictures and have conversations with people you may have lost touch with.
- Use social media for research purposes. While you don’t want to rely on everything you read on the internet, using it as a starting point for research on hobbies, business interests or health information is a great way to get involved and stay informed.
- Sometimes there is just nothing on television worth watching and using the Internet is a way to watch videos or even television shows from the past that you’ve enjoyed. Reading ebooks, articles and listening to music are also easily accessible items if there’s Internet access available.
- If you’re crafty, using the Internet and social media is a platform for starting a new business or to grow an existing one. Consider offering coaching services, selling crafts, writing blog posts for other sites as ways to harness the power of the Internet for business growth.
- Keeping your mind active as you age is a way to stave off dementia and loneliness which can lead to depression. There are myriad sites offering online classes, either credit or non-credit courses in all knowledge areas.
- Share your information with the masses. Senior citizens have a wealth of information to offer and the Internet and social media and blog sites are a place to do just that. Tell stories, share your memories, answer questions, the ability to interact is at your fingertips.
- Money saving opportunities abound if you know where to look and are willing to spend the time. Look online for sales and coupons being offered either at your favorite grocery stores or at craft or computer stores. Sign up for online newsletters from your favorite brands and you’re bound to receive coupons and special sales offers that others may not have access to.
If you’re new to technology or unfamiliar with social media and other sites ask your children or grandchildren to show you how and where to look up items and ow to sign up for social media. Another good idea is to locate and take computer classes at a local library or community center.
Just as safety matters with children on the Internet, so too should safety be a consideration for seniors when they’re interacting online. For example, don’t post status updates announcing that you’ll be going on vacation, keep your home address and telephone numbers off the sites and use common sense when interacting and accepting friend requests from individuals you don’t know.