Seniors are encouraged to engage in online social media. It provides them with a variety of mental and emotional benefits.
All around the United States, older adults are embracing advanced technology. Aging seems to have resulted in many older adults accepting what technology can provide them. Some are actively working to have social media be a part of their daily lives. The use of social media has increased significantly with older adults. The demographic of individuals 45 years or older is the fastest-growing segment. Those over the age of 55 are responsible for much of the growth of social networks being used.
As adults get older, their need for social participation and integration increases. It is an important part of healthy aging. Many older adults have small social networks. This is because their life has changed. It is common for an older adult to retire, experience declining health or have mobility limitations. When people get older, they often experience feelings of social isolation and loneliness. Older adults can often handle these challenges better when they are active online using social media.
A study conducted by Pew Research Center in May 2017showed that over 66% of adults in the United States who are 65 and older were active online. This is a huge increase from a study done in 2000. At that time, only 14% of seniors claimed to use the internet. It is believed that as the baby boomer generation continues to age, the level of seniors using the internet will significantly increase.
Many older adults are enjoying the multitude of benefits provided by using social media. It enables them to keep in contact with friends and family members. Older adults can easily keep in contact with busy or distant family members because they can adjust to a time that is convenient for all involved. Social media provides a way to share photos and videos as well as socialize with community members, friends living close or far away and others.
The usage of the internet and social media among older adults does provide some challenges. It is a constant distraction. Some older adults get on the internet or engage in social media and forget to take their medication, eat a meal and more. They can also struggle to find a trusted resource on the web and can fall prey to scammers.
Some technological designs are customized for use by older adults. This includes increased contrast in display screens. This will help those with vision issues. Increasing standard font sizes will make things on the screen easier to read. This customization has made it easier for seniors to read the information on their smartphones as well as on their computers.
As people age, their health becomes more of a concern. Many seniors benefit from using e-health, which is a term for healthcare activities that involve online communications. It can describe anything from contacting health care providers online to speaking with other patients in chat rooms, doing research on the web, etc. The chat rooms provide social interaction with individuals suffering from similar medical conditions. This is an excellent way for seniors to provide one another with advice, recommend resources and connect.
Increased Brain Function
A study was conducted to determine if individuals who spent time researching online also experienced an increase in their brain’s neural activity. During the study, adults who were between the ages of 55 and 76 were observed being on social media and performing other types of online activity. The results revealed that even individuals with old brains experienced an increase in their neural activity. This was compared to those who did not engage in social media or other types of online activity. It demonstrated how an hour a day can result in a person experiencing a significant increase in the activity of their brain.
Aging often results in individuals experiencing a chronic condition. When they can connect with individuals that counsel those with the illness, it is very helpful. Seniors with a chronic condition need to avoid feelings of being frightened and isolated. When they can communicate with other seniors with chronic conditions, it often provides them with a sense of comfort.
Aging is a part of every person’s life. Getting older is an eventuality. There are online resources available to help seniors learn about the latest social media chat rooms, websites and more. The more seniors engage in social media, the more comfortable they become with it. When seniors use social media, it improves their sense of self-competence, cognitive capacity as well as overall health.