All Aboard the Social Media Train
“Social media” is a term referring to a variety of Internet-based technologies that allow people to communicate, interact, and share with other people.
Before the COVID pandemic, many of us in our “seasoned” years thought social media was something for “younger” people. But that has changed.
To fight the isolation of sheltering in place and social distancing, more of us than ever before have jumped aboard the social media train. And many of us are really enjoying the ride!
Research by the Pew Research Center on “Social Media Use in 2021” determined that growing numbers of older people are now using social media. According to the findings, Facebook and YouTube appear to be the most popular social media platforms with older Americans.
Seventy-three percent of study participants aged 50 to 64 said they use Facebook while about half of the 65 and older age group said they use the platform. When it came to YouTube, 83 percent of participants aged 50 to 64 said they utilize YouTube while 49 percent of those 65 and older use the platform.
Those of us using social media are finding that it has some real benefits. From the comfort of our own homes, we can stay involved in what’s happening beyond our walls…
…We can see images and hear news from all over the world.
…We can communicate with… and even play online games with… old friends or new friends we have never met in person.
…We can learn more about our favorite topics or hobbies and interact with other people with the same interests.
…We can reminisce about the “good old days” with people who were actually there.
…We can learn about various t things that will benefit us as we age, such as yoga and meditation.
…We can stay up to date with advances in medicine and find tips to help us deal with health concerns.
…We can share our own knowledge and experience with other people.
..We can celebrate people’s accomplishments and support them through their life challenges, and they can do the same for us.
Although social media may seem challenging at first, it gets easier. Most forms of social media aren’t as difficult to master as you might think.
There’s plenty of support available to help you learn the basics of social media and polish up your skills. Both online and in your community. Many public libraries and senior centers offer classes and workshops designed specifically to help older adults get the hang of using social media as well other technological advances like virtual chatting using smartphones.