I’m sure you’ve seen the Esurance commercial below with Beatrice showing her two friends how she saves time by sharing her photos on the wall. And no, she’s not posting them to her Facebook wall; they are literally taped to her living room wall.
Though this commercial is funny, it does bring up the real issue, that some older adults want to use social media to connect with friends and family, but need a little assistance. When my mother was about 80 years old, she decided she wanted a computer. I thought no problem; we’ll get her a computer and set it up. Little did I know that my very patient husband would become her 24/7 help desk. He had to teach her how to use a mouse, create passwords and logins, and most importantly not to randomly click on pop-up ads. Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter didn’t exist back when she got her computer.
Fast forward a decade, social media has boomed and it’s a great way for older adults to connect with friends and family. And, luckily there are organizations popping up to help older adults learn what the Internet has to offer. One of these organizations is Cyber-Seniors, which started in 2009 by two sisters as a high school project, after they saw how using Facebook, email and Skype allowed their grandparents to stay in touch with them. Cyber-Seniors is premiering a documentary today in NYC (check out the clip below). If you want assistance with social media and the Internet, Cyber-Seniors has a list of organizations to help.