When Millennials get together they already know what everyone in their circle has been up to because of social media. This can often times leave older generations feeling left out of the conversation if they aren’t connected with them online. Learning to use social media can open many windows of opportunity for seniors they’ve never even considered like keeping up with the busy pace of their families lives. With the rapid updates in technology, people ages 60+ experience multiple benefits when connecting through social media and we’ve summed them up for you on our Top 10 list below.
- Learn Details About Family Members
A phone conversation every few weeks can only skim the surface of what a family has been up to on a daily and weekly basis. When you are connected by Facebook, you can see photos of activities, locations and even friends since many of these details are left out when telling a story over the phone. Grandkids can be in multiple activities after school, so social media can often times show their team photos and competitions, saving the parents time rather than sending a separate email out to relatives.
- Stay In Touch with Friends
Neighbors move away and phone numbers can get lost, but you can easily keep in touch with friends when connected through Facebook. There might be an old high school buddy you’d like to look up, and now it’s easier more than ever to reconnect. No need to look up a number or address in a phone book and wait for the person to write or call you back. While online you can type them a quick “hello” or send a long update on your life through a private message. Another added bonus is the birthday reminders each day so you can to write a Happy birthday message. After you sign in to Facebook, you are alerted about which one of your friends is having a birthday or anniversary if they have it on their profile details.
- Learn More About Your Special Interests
Do you have a collection or specific hobby which you love spending time on? Online you can learn details and in-depth knowledge about what ever interests you have. Learn about your favorite bands or hobby while staying in your own home. The educational opportunities are abundant and you can check out what ever your heart desires. See Facebook for details and photos on a particular group or company page. The specific group page might include product or location reviews from customers so you can get honest feedback.
- Stay Up to Date with Rapid Changing Technology
Learning new skills keeps your mental mojo going. Once you learn how to use all of the social media features, you can also be a resource for others around you in your community. Plus, learning to keep you privacy settings and contact information so that you are safe online is a benefit to you so you can decrease chances of identity theft and stay safe from online predators. Keep your mind sharp by staying up to date on the new social media features which are changing at a rapid pace.
- Have Fun!
Laughter keeps you young and seeing your grandkids in a waterballon fight online can be hilarious in you’re connected online. There are so many funny examples of telling a funny joke or memory on the social media for your family to see. Post a silly childhood photo of someone’s birthday or say “hello” to their dog or cat which mean so much to them. Adding humor is fun for everyone and life is too short to be so serious all of the time.
- Document Family History
With websites like Ansetry.com, seniors can write down their family history for all future generations to come. Taking names and distant relative photos from a photo album and transferring them online can also let your entire extended family in on the fun history. Most extended family members remember portions of certain family history, but documenting it online can fill in missing gaps and younger relatives will be able to read all about where they originated from.
- Free Daily Activity
Making coffee each morning and checking Facebook to see what others are up to can easily be part of a daily routine. Others prefer to check it each night, but either way you can quickly see what your friends are up to in a few short minutes. All you need is an internet connection and computer or tablet, and you don’t even have to leave your own home to check it out. This can decrease the feeling of isolation if seniors have family living in other states or with busy schedules.
- Share Stories
With a few sentences on the keyboard, seniors can share some of their favorite family memories from when their childhood. To the days when there was no internet, or even a phone or tv. What was life when you had to entertain yourself and or sit gathered around a radio to listen to a program? You have multiple ways to share your story by sending a private message to certain family members or updating your status in order to share with everyone you’re connected to.
Finding support in a group setting has major health benefits to anyone, where ever stage they are at in life. Social media can show you different support groups in your community with location and meeting details. Looking for a particular type of book club to join? You can find and connect with people who also enjoy the same with the same activities so close to where you live.
Looking for an organization to volunteer for or do you have some extra books to donate to your community? Putting up a post on Facebook can spread like wildfire and you might open windows you didn’t even think of. Your network might make suggestions or email you possible places to volunteer if that’s what you’ve posted that you’re interested in looking at. Sometimes you don’t know who is connected with others since your network can be vast. Would you like to work a few hours a week? Post it to see if others have any suggestions or have seen any openings in your area of expertise.
There are other benefits not listed in this article, but we’re continuing to see lives improved each time a senior is connected online with the ones they care about. Do you have any other examples of benefits they might also experience? Send your comments and suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested in setting up a training session for a senior you know? Call us at 612.800.2986 to set up a one on one training session today.