Often, when the concept of blogging comes up, the first thought is of some young kid, sometimes a geek, but sometimes not. It is not that often that we think of older adults as being active in the digital space.
This preconception is glaringly false. As far back as 2005 — the early days of blogging — you can find features about the older bloggers’ online adventures.
Carla K. Johnston reported the following in May of that year for the Associated Press, via USA Today:
Bloggers say their hobby keeps them thinking about current events, makes them friends to strangers around the globe and gives them a voice in a society that often neglects the wisdom of the elderly.
‘It brings out the best in me,’ said Boston-area blogger Millie Garfield, 80, who writes My Mom’s Blog. ‘My life would be dull without it.’
So, you see, senior blogging is nothing new. I’d go so far as to say it’s been around since the beginning. Infomaniac took notice of one of my favorites back in 2006. A blog, I am pleased to say, that is still going strong:
But my favorite ‘older blogger’ who blogs on aging (and other topics), is Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By, a few years older than me. I’ve been trying to get to her blog more lately, as I’m enjoying her discovery of her new home in Portland, Maine, especially the photos.
A few minutes spent with Google, and you can find a seemingly endless array of older bloggers, both past and present. Just as people of all age groups exist in the “real world,” they also do online. And a quick perusal of their work often reveals that wit and wisdom are plentiful.
While we are on the topic, there is one sad note that I feel must be touched on. In July of 2008, we lamented the loss of a woman in Australia who, as far as I can tell, was the single oldest blogger known. She was 108 when she made her last post. Fox News described her thus:
Olive Riley, who was born in 1899, shared tales of growing up in the early 20th century, recounting everything from washing day (‘You 21st century people live a different life than the one I lived as a youngster in the early 1900s,’ she wrote) to living through two world wars.
Blogging not only encourages mental engagement but also allows seniors a new way to expand their social circles. Regular readers of a blog usually have common interests with the author — or they would not be there. It can be a terrific way to spend time and, if desired, can make a good focal point for community engagement as well. Both Blogger and WordPress have easy-to-follow online tutorials for those interested in taking a stab at it.
There is no lack of what Ronni Bennet calls “Elder Bloggers.” On Time Goes By, she has a list of them, all over the age of 50. Through her blog and that list, I found an amazing array of them, including Linda’s World, Listics, Living in The Bonus Round, Loose Leaf Notes, and Lucy Volume II. It’s a great starting point for discovering a whole new world online.
Source: “Spanish granny dubbed ‘world’s oldest blogger’ dies,” CNN, 05/27/09
Source: “‘World’s Oldest Blogger’ Makes Final Post at Age 108,” Fox News, 07/14/08
Source: “Life After 50 — The Working Life Off-Ramp,” GoToRetirement, 09/05/10
Source: “Older bloggers,” Infomaniac, 08/01/06
Source: “Senior citizen bloggers defy stereotypes,” USA Today, 11/06/05
Image by orangeacid (Dan Foy), used under its Creative Commons license.