Social Media Starter Guide for Older Adults
July 15, 2019
Tapestry encourages its residents to enjoy a lifestyle that includes regular social contact, fitness, and learning. These real-life interactions support health and happiness, but in this day and age, it’s important for older adults to understand how to use digital platforms as these are often helpful for staying in contact with family members, including those of younger generations.
Popular social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have much to offer. Here, users can view pictures of family events, research hobbies, find old friends, and access entertainment. Most social media sites are free to use.
The potential benefits of social media participation include:
- Developing relationships with younger relatives
- Staying connected to family and friends living outside of your jurisdiction
- Stimulating the mind by learning new technology
- The convenience of shopping online
Many social media platforms, including Instagram and Twitter, employ a device known as a hashtag. It follows the format of #wordorphrase. For example, #seniorliving, #homecare, #1955yearbook would be hashtags attached to content related to those subjects. Clicking on a hashtag delivers additional content with that label.
Basic Approach to Social Media
You will need a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer to use social media. On computers, web browsing software, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox, can be used to reach social media sites. On mobile devices, you can download social media applications to join. A new user must create an account to view content, add content, and make new connections. An email address or cellphone number will be needed to register. When setting up a profile, users should pay close attention to privacy and notification settings.
Top Social Media Platforms
Facebook.com – Users enter details about where they went to school, where they live, and where they work. Members can search for people and send friend requests. The content shared by friends will often become visible to the user on the homepage. People can also tag users by assigning their names to content to ensure that they see shared messages and photos.
Instagram.com – This site is heavily focused on photographs and provides older adults with easy access to shared pictures. After signup, users can make connections with family or other people or organizations that interest them.
Twitter.com – Short text messages of no more than 280 characters form the backbone of this platform. Each message is called a tweet, and pictures and videos can be attached if desired. Twitter excels as a place to discover information, especially about current events, and encourages conversation through text messages.
While you might be hesitant about joining a social media platform due to privacy concerns, understanding how to use the privacy and security features of these social media vehicles can give you peace of mind. Many social media accounts allow you to set them to “private” so that only people you give permission can ‘follow’ you.
Tapestry communities offer all residents access to free Wi-Fi, making it easy to stay in touch with family and friends.