How Senior Citizens Utilize Social Media
Senior citizens use different social media sites to contact family and friends, and to educate themselves on issues in the world and in their own lives.
As of 2015, Senior Citizens now make up the fastest growing demographic of social media users in the world, increasing almost threefold since 2011. Nearly 35% of all seniors now say they use sites and applications like Facebook, Skype, and Twitter daily in order to contact loved ones or seek out news with ease. For many, this exposure to the outside world is a comfort from the isolation of living at home, especially for those with limited mobility. Furthermore, many seniors have lauded social media as a resource for strengthening mental agility, as it allows them to interact with others or educate themselves without physical restraint.
Unlike with the younger generations, social media for seniors serves less as an outlet for “shaping image” and producing content, and more as a resource for research. This type of research ranges from political and global news to online classes to social networks — and that is only a short list. In particular, many seniors pursue medical and health information, joining forums where they can ask questions and receive direct, helpful answers from medical professionals or other individuals experiencing the same things.
Read More: Do Social Networks Respect Your Privacy?
However, seeking information of this nature can increase the user’s vulnerability, as forums that are open to all are also open to hackers or erroneous contributors. In general, applications and antivirus softwares provide great protection against the potentially harmful assailants online, with prevention services like dfndr security’s quick virus scan to sweep your devices for any unwanted software or third-party infiltration.
In the past few years, websites like seniormaze.com and Stitch have been developed solely with senior users in mind, opening up a world that is like Facebook but catered to an older age group. Members can connect with one another, join clubs, organize events, and chat freely online, and they can do so from their own homes while also opening the door for new friends and opportunities.