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Jason Kennedy

Should You Be Using Social Media?

Logos of Pinterest, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Tumbler, Foursquare, and othersBelieve it or not, senior citizens are now the fastest growing demographic signed up for Facebook. For seniors, using Facebook and other social media such as Twitter, Google+, YouTube and Instagram helps them keep up with their old and present friends and family. By using Facebook, seniors have found ways to get in touch with friends and relatives they lost touch with long ago, see pictures of their grandchildren, learn more about business brands and find various causes that might be meaningful to them. But, there are many other reasons for senior citizens to use social media for more than just family photos.Even though seniors might not be as savvy when it comes to technology compared to the younger generation, they are not completely clueless when it comes to gadgets and laptops. Below are some of the benefits seniors get from using social media.

Keeping In Touch – Social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are great ways for seniors to keep in touch with their children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Seniors are also finding old college roommates, their very best friend from their younger years and maybe even their school crush from elementary school. Social media allows seniors to view videos and pictures, share pictures, have conversations with friends, kids and grand kids and read blog posts. Social media has certainly revolutionized the way seniors connect with their families and friends.

Research – Seniors can use social media such as Google+ and YouTube to learn about topics they are interested in. In many cases, these topics lead them to form new hobbies and business ideas. Oftentimes, due to so much inaccurate health information out on the Internet, it can make things more confusing for seniors because they have so many resources. Regardless, social media has enabled seniors to learn about plenty of new things as well as work on their genealogy.

Asking Questions – Seniors often get aggravated and frustrated navigating the menu on the cell phone to nowhere. By using social media tools online, seniors can reach out through Facebook, Twitter, live chats, videos and blogs. Seniors can talk to the representatives they need through social media and have their questions answered without feeling intimidated by attitudes, voice and a phone menu that never sends them anywhere. This gives seniors more confidence. There are also blogs where you can interact like on the WordPress, Tumblr, and LiveJournal formats.

Showing how social media ties people together

Entertainment – Today, senior citizens can use social media to watch movies, old televisions shows and find some old videos from “back in the day.” They can read blog posts, find out what their favorite actor or entertainer is doing, read ebooks, find song lyrics and read articles. They can spend some time playing some fun games by themselves, or they can play games with friends and family. Seniors who can’t get out and about don’t have to feel lonely anymore. With social media, they can now interact with friends and family if they are home alone.

Here is a table which shows the various social media sites, the age group of the “average” user, and what that site is best used for:

Social Media SiteAge Group Of UsersBest Used For:
FacebookAll Age GroupsGood for staying in touch with family and friends
TwitterGenerally used by 18 to 40 year oldsUsed to "follow" others who have interesting things to say. We see this used extensively by actors, singers and other "stars" to stay in touch with their fans
LinkedIn24 to 60 Year OldsUsed extensively by business professionals to stay in contact with their peers and connect with like-minded colleagues
Google+20 to 40 Year OldsThis is the newest social platform and it really hasn't caught on just yet. Early stages so we will see.
Pinterest20 to 60 year old womenThis site is used almost exclusively by women to share pictures of anything they might be interested in.
Instagram15 to 45 Year OldsSharing pictures from your cell phone with friends
MySpaceNo usersNo one uses this site any more. It's time has passed...

These are just a few of the many ways seniors can take advantage of social media and help them stay busy and interact with others. Whether you use a regular computer or a tablet like an iPad or Kindle, there are many ways to get involved. So, pick your favorite one, and join the social revolution!

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