Positive impact of social media on the elderly

Some of us think that older people haven’t got anything in common with technology and social media, this is not so true. These days more and more older people are learning how to use technology, Internet, and getting social media profiles.

It is no secret that people are living longer, and around 30% of the population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2050. Staying connected with friends and family is as important in later life as it is at any other time, perhaps even more so.

The rapid advancement of technology and services are a great asset to our senior citizens and can make planning day trips and social gatherings much easier and hassle free. Websites like Facebook, for example, can make finding old friends easier while tools such as Google Hangouts can help people with ‘face to face’ communication with no extra charges.

Human beings are, unsurprisingly, very social animals and things like social media services can be of enormous benefit to those that may not get out and about as much as they used to. In fact, social media can help older people make brand new connections and friendships and not just rekindle old ones.

Social media equates to better health

It doesn’t seem likely, but technology and services, such as social media, can play an important part in the health of seniors - both cognitive, and the more physical. Simply spending time connecting with other people, whether in person or via social sites, can improve the mental well being of those participating.

When these social platforms are used to arrange gatherings and events, then these benefits are intensified.

Social media sites can also be used to run groups, make announcements pertaining to community groups and centres that other elderly people may frequent and generally keep those people informed of what is happening and when. This can obviously be of great benefit to the wider community, as well as the individual.

There are a lot of resources available for seniors, such as SeniorNet, to help them get around technology and learn how to best use the services that many others take for granted, and get the most out of them.

Helping neighbours, and others in the community at large, has never been easier thanks to the advances in technology. Sending a quick message via Facebook, or any instant messaging app for that matter, to ask how somebody is and if they need anything is as simple as tapping an icon on a screen.

Mobile phones and tablets mean that access to a laptop or desktop is no longer required, furthering the ease of which the elderly can reach out and communicate with friends and family. It has been suggested that today’s technology is leaving senior citizens behind, but when taking a proactive approach to these things we begin to see that nothing could be further from the truth.

The rise of the smartphone, and companies competing with one another to provide more for less, means that today’s world is becoming more and more accessible - and that means for everybody. Manufacturers and service providers find themselves redefining their target demographics, and that can only ever be a good thing.

Samsung recently unveiled a smartphone with a physical keypad, as opposed to a touchscreen - the first of its kind; a sure sign that tech companies are starting to take the older generation into consideration more than ever before.

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