While it may seem that the younger generation is the primary users of social media, the senior generation is quickly catching up on some social media platforms. In fact, a 2016 study showed that 62% of adults 65 and older are using Facebook regularly. If your parent or loved one is actively using social media, it can benefit their lives in many ways. Here are five reasons why your parent should be using social media.
1. Improved Social Life
It is extremely important to a senior’s overall health for them to avoid feeling left out or lonely. If a senior is feeling isolated, it may lead to depression and a decline in their physical health. Luckily, social media opens the door to many conversations that may not be possible if a senior is experiencing mobility or health issues.
Skype is a great platform to use live video chat with close friends, family members and gives you the opportunity to see each other using a built-in camera or webcam. On Facebook, your parent or loved one is easily able to engage in conversation with others in the comment section on a status, photo, or video. This also includes catching up with their grandchildren who they haven’t had the chance to see in a while.
Not only do these platforms help your parents connect with family, but they also provide a way to stay close with friends. You may need to assist in showing them how to add friends the first time or two. Having these meaningful new connections will improve their social life tremendously.
2. Sense of Community
It was reported that there are two billion monthly active users on Facebook as of March 2017. With so many active users, Facebook can help make the world feel a little smaller and allow your parent to feel a personal sense of community. Facebook is known for its fun and interactive games that you can play with others from your friends. A big feature on Facebook that is commonly used is Facebook events. This will keep your parent informed on upcoming local activities and events happening in the community around them.
3. Share Memories
As a family, it’s important to cherish every moment spent with the ones you love and it is fun to revisit these memories from time to time. Social media platforms that promote the use of pictures, like Instagram and Facebook, can help you share and store all the photos from a recent trip or family vacation. If your parent has a home computer and printer, they will even have the option to print out their favorite photos. If they don’t have a home printer, Shutterfly.com is a great option to upload photos and get them printed and delivered directly to your home.
4. Connected with Family
Regularly checking in with your parent can become a lot easier with features like Facebook Messenger. This tool gives your loved one an easy way to communicate with family at any given time. There is also the option to have group messages on Facebook, which allows you to communicate with multiple people at once. This is a valuable tool for relatives who don’t live close to each other. By becoming friends on Facebook, your whole family has access to easy ways to communicate and engage with each other compared to over the phone.
5. Learn New Things
Being active on social media can also be a great educational tool for your parent, especially if they are open to learning new hobbies, recipes, or keeping track of world news. On social media, you can discover new places, read fascinating research, and have a good laugh at viral videos. Your parent or loved one may feel a little intimidated by social media at first, and it may take a few one-on-one training sessions to show them the ropes, but they will be logging in and clicking away in no time.
If your parent enjoys DIY projects consider helping them create a Pinterest account – which is a DIYer’s dream. There are thousands of crafts, sewing projects, and delicious recipes they can find and try out for themselves!
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