Social media is everywhere, and quite often that even means grandma’s house. More and more seniors are flocking to online platforms by the day. Joshua Brockman at NPR gives us some stats on the amazing adoption rate:
According to comScore, a digital measurement company, 27.4 million people age 55 and over engaged in social networking in July, up from 16 million one year ago.
‘I’ve connected with friends and acquaintances that I have lost contact with through the years — people I’ve graduated high school with and people from my hometown,’ says Claire LeSage, 63, who has been using Facebook for about a year-and-a-half.
Both Rachelle Matherne and I have covered many different aspects of older adults using social media in our prior posts here on the firstSTREET blog, including the following, which I hope will be of use to you:
- Fighting Social Isolation With Social Media
- Blogging, It’s Not Just for the Young
- Too Old to Tweet? Not a Chance!
- Web Surfing Over 50: Five Online and Social Media Resources
- Senior Tech: An Interview With Donna Arriaga
- A Chat With Thoroughly Modern Millie
- Making Technology Easier for Seniors
Of course, one of the attractive things about social media is the fact that it is social. The ease of sharing and communication is a boon for those who might be suffering isolation due to being far away from their families, and can bring families and friends together no matter the distance.
Two favorite means of online sharing can be a bit confusing for some seniors — photos and music. Thankfully, there are some gadgets that can make both of these tasks much simpler.
Many boomers and their elders think of slide shows when they think about sharing pictures, but that can be updated to the 21st century quite handily. There are many scanners built especially for scanning slides, like the 35mm Slide Scanner. The resultant images can then be shared with friends and family via email, Facebook, Flickr, Google’s Picasa, or other photo-sharing platforms.
As for music, older collections are often on older media types like cassette tapes. In an age of MP3s, that can be a bit of a problem. Fortunately, technology once more comes to the rescue with devices like the TapeWriter, a plug-and-play cassette player that hooks directly to your computer and exports the music as MP3s.
For more helpful devices, check out our Technology Gifts for Seniors section on the main website!