Seniors turn to the web to stay connected

Winter can be an isolating time of the year. Cold weather often forces people indoors for long stretches of time, and without technology, it can be difficult to socialize and stay connected with family and friends who don't live nearby. Winter is therefore an ideal time for seniors to learn the ins-and-outs of social media and embrace technology!

Growing popularity among seniors
Over the years, seniors have increasingly turned to the Internet for its social benefits. Creating an account on Facebook or Twitter allows older users to easily stay connected with friends and family. If they want to catch up with relatives, all they need to do is pull up their profile on social media and see their family's latest photos and updates. Through apps on the site, they can even live chat with multiple loved ones at once from the comfort of their retirement suite!

Social media sites aren't the only online tools that senior living residents are finding valuable. According to the Peninsula News Review, some use the Internet to explore their hobbies and continue their professions throughout their retirement years.

"The Internet has also allowed me to become a writer and see my work published," Brock Clayards, a retired RCMP officer and local author, told the news source. He now has two books available for purchase on Amazon and regularly stays connected with his younger relatives on Skype.

Getting started
If your aging parents or loved ones are still unfamiliar with how to use technology, there's a great deal of value to be had in teaching them. Not only will they be able to more easily stay connected with you and other friends and family, but they'll be further fueling their independence. For example, if they want to research a question, they can simply turn to a device and find the answer, or if they want to try out a new hobby, they can network online and discover the resources they need.

This Internet-inspired autonomy is the premise for the Cyber Seniors film, a Toronto-based documentary that follows a group of seniors learning the ins and outs of the web. Local high school students help them understand the benefits of the Internet, and with individual guidance, they work on a social project that they promote through social media.

"They see a program like this and they think it's an opportunity to get in touch with their grandkids and communicate," a participating student said in a Film Festivals and Indie Films video posted on YouTube.

Tutoring began November 3, and the film is now being shown in multiple locations to highlight the benefits of seniors online.