Social media might seem like it is only for teenagers - every day, another teen becomes a YouTube star or shows a parent how to use an iPad. However, social media can be beneficial and fun for people of all ages, and it can help seniors stay active and connected.
Among adults ages 65 and older, 67 percent use the internet, and 42 percent own a smartphone. More than a third of older adults use social media. Here are a few of the benefits seniors can get from being active on social media:Stay Connected
Not everyone is lucky enough to have family members who live nearby. Social media is an easy way to stay connected with those far-away friends and relatives. Not only does staying connected allow you to see their photos and updates, but it also provides an easy way to communicate with children, grandchildren, and friends. While the people of the younger generation does not often pick up the phone and call each other, they do consistently send quick messages via social media.
To help bridge the generation gap, CARP recommends creating a private family Facebook group, where you can post photos and updates that only family members can see.
Learn Something New
Continuing to learn throughout your life helps keep your brain active and healthy. Learning to use technology and a new social media platform is a good challenge! At Origin communities, we offer tech tip classes as a way to provide community members a welcoming, stress-free way to become more computer savvy and learn to navigate social media sites. As 48 percent of seniors say they have little confidence in their ability to use new technology, a class like this makes the online world friendly and accessible.
Social interaction is essential for your health. Feeling lonely can lead to depression, higher stress levels, and poor sleep, all of which have an impact on your overall wellness. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones via social media provides much-needed social contact. Though it's not a substitute for a good old-fashioned coffee date, it is a great supplement to in-person social events.
There are groups, hashtags, tutorials, and how-to videos for every hobby imaginable. You can connect with like-minded people and pursue new or old interests like cooking, crafts, gardening, reading, electronics, art, and much more. It's another opportunity for lifelong learning with access to research and news on every topic.
Get Motivated to Stay Active
You may come across other seniors online who are participating in fitness classes, learning new skills, hosting their own YouTube shows, and traveling to unusual places. Use these people as the inspiration you need to get out there and do it yourself!
Starting your own social media account is an excellent leisure activity by itself, and it opens the doors for ongoing learning, connection, and growth. You can delete your account anytime, so there's no long-term obligation. Get started by creating a Facebook account and see how social media can be an enjoyable part of your life.