4 types of social media seniors should embrace

Social networking sites hold a wealth of potential for seniors living in retirement communities. Whether they’re interested in photography or organizing community events, older adults can enlist the assistance of these sites when planning or performing different tasks.

Popular websites feature millions of users from all around the globe, meaning that they are rich with different ideas from cultures across a myriad of countries. Seniors who sign up for these networking sites have the opportunity to connect with and learn from these individuals, sharing ideas and interesting facts with a group of like-minded people.

1. Facebook reaps social and mental benefits for seniors
The most commonly used social media site is Facebook, which boasts more than 1 billion active monthly users, according to Statistic Brain. Not only is this platform one of the most frequently visited sites on the Internet, but the Canadian Press reported that more Canadians use Facebook than any other country in the world. According to the statistics, 74 per cent of the population checks their profiles at least once per month, with 14 million people logging in once per day.

With this high volume of people joining the social networking site, seniors have the ability to connect with their friends and family members who may not live near them. By staying active and posting updates, pictures and thoughts, older adults can stay current on the lives of their loved ones.

Additionally, the University of Arizona recently published a study where researchers examined how Facebook affected the minds of older adults. They found that adults over the age of 65 who logged onto the site tended to have higher memory functioning. Researchers reported that seniors who were active on Facebook performed 25 per cent better in memory tests.

2. Creativity can be fostered through Pinterest
Pinterest may not be the most popular social media site, but it provides a wealth of opportunities for seniors, especially those who enjoy creative projects. This site allows users to share links and pictures by “pinning” them to boards, or personal pages. By collecting these “pins,” users can have a collection of different artistic ideas pertaining to their favorite projects. For example, people who enjoy knitting can find thousands of patterns and ideas for their latest artistic creation. The site also features various decorating ideas, scrapbooking suggestions and do-it-yourself projects.

3. Seniors can stay up-to-date with Twitter
Unlike other social platforms, Twitter allows companies, celebrities and individuals to quickly and efficiently communicate. For seniors who prefer sending or receiving information in short bursts, this site is ideal. Since thoughts are limited to 140 characters, users are limited to posting one or two sentences at one time. This provides ample opportunity for those who are seeking platforms to receive news updates and interesting links, such as individuals who like to follow specific industries.

The Huffington Post added that Twitter, unlike Facebook or Instagram, can be customized for the user, meaning that seniors only have to read updates that pertain to them. Additionally, the article adds that Twitter is one of the safest sites for users, as privacy settings prevent any unwanted persons from interacting with a profile.

4. Instagram provides an easy platform for picture storage
Although Instagram is only available for mobile devices, it has seen immense popularity among younger adults. This site allows users to share photographs with their followers, meaning that seniors who join can not only create their own photo albums, but they can follow children and grandchildren to see picture updates of their lives. PSFK recently profiled an 85-year-old man who created a digital history using the platform. Calling himself “Instagram-pa,” the user posts pictures – old and new – that represent his life and personality dating back to 1920. He has effectively created a snapshot of his entire life through photographs, a digital footprint that will live forever.