When we think of social media, often young people come to mind. Surprisingly, the fastest-growing demographic for social media use is the over 65 population! Almost half of senior citizens are using some form of social media, and that number continues to grow. Social media has some important benefits for seniors and it is becoming easier to learn thanks to online training.

Social media has health benefits. According to a recent study, loneliness is as dangerous to physical health as obesity or smoking, and it is a significant issue for those over the age of 65 that has been compounded due to the pandemic. Studies have shown that using social media increases feelings of social connectedness. Social media can help to alleviate the effects of loneliness by helping seniors feel more connected to friends and family.

Older adults are also using social media to find jobs, support and purpose. Many seniors go online to search for employment as the majority of job postings have moved there. Seniors also increasingly use social media to join support groups and to search out volunteer opportunities.

Training on how to use social media effectively is essential. Even more important than learning how to sign up or the intricacies of use, is understanding privacy settings and how to navigate social media safely.

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) is an organization leading the charge on technology training for older people. OATS partners with AARP and local community centers to bring technology training to older adults, including social media training for seniors.

Once older adults feel comfortable with social media, studies show that they become nearly as hooked as young people: 71% go online every day, 81% go online weekly, and 56% note that they would find it “very hard” to give up the internet.

Thanks in part to training programs and technology with easy-to-use interfaces, senior citizen social media use is expected to continue growing. To connect with our social media platforms, visit At Home In Darien on Facebook and Instagram.