Are you ready to be a join the world of modern technology? Start using social media and you will be well on your way.
What is social media?
It has been defined as communication among people in which they create, share or trade information, ideas, pictures and videos in computer-generated communities. A virtual community can simply be described as a group of people interacting with each other through a specific media platform (such as Facebook or Twitter). What is so fantastic about social media is that it allows you to connect with people all over the world whether you know them or have a shared interest with them.
Seniors, take note: you are the fastest growing demographic in social networks. On Facebook alone, of the 1.23 billion monthly followers 11 percent are from the silver generation. This elder group is not as shy or as intimated by technology as many might believe. As of February 2014, a national study found that in seniors over the age of 65, almost 60% were actively using the Internet. Other activities you are participating in are social gaming, joining contests and on-line dating. So to help you build your confidence in using the on-line world, below is a social media guide for seniors.
One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to connect with family and friends would also be the most popular social media platform on the planet: Facebook. To join this global community with over 1 billion other Facebookers from around the world, you only need a few minutes. You have to have an email address already in place, but other than that it is just a few clicks away.
People use Facebook to chronicle and comment on their lives. This is a great way to keep track of friends and family that may not live near you. Have children and grandchildren abroad? You can watch your granddaughters and grandsons growing up half way around the world via Facebook. Looking for an old friend from work or even school? You have better than a great chance of finding him or her on Facebook. Interested in garden groups in your city, or talking to people from all over the world who love baking as much as you do? Facebook groups and business pages give you all these options and more! Churchill Retirement has its own Facebook page which you can “like” to keep up to date with all of our developments and news on the fantastic projects that our Owners are involved in.
This is the media site that will show you are never too old to plug in and turn on. It is easier than ever to get connected.
YouTube is for videos. This platform allows anyone, anywhere to upload and share a video of anything that enters his or her mind. The topics and subjects are almost endless. From scientifically detailed “How To” videos, to compilations of funny animals, to cooking shows made by seniors for seniors. You do not need join YouTube to enjoy any of the 1 billion videos (as of April 2014). But to interact with any of the 4 billion people who comment on these videos you will need to join. The same goes if you end up wanting to post a video of yourself. Grab one of your grandchildren; guidance from any teenage mentor you can find is priceless. They have all grown up with this technology and seem to have an almost intuitive nature about these things.
Now this one is not as fun as the previous two, but LinkedIn is a terrific social media platform for professional networking. LinkedIn has more than 160 million members from 200 different countries. Still looking for some part-time work? Or wish to continue your career into the later years, LinkedIn is the place to go where you create a profile, add your CV and previous employment connections. Once your profile is set, there is not much else to do. You are able to search for open job positions, respond to inquires or join other professional networking groups on the site that are of interest to you.
The last installment of this social media guide tailored for seniors will be to discuss Twitter. Twitter is unique in that it is most like stream-of-conscience writing or in the moment sharing. Each ‘Tweet’ (a post on Twitter is called a Tweet) is only a very specific 140 characters at a time. You can also share news links to other stories or news sites as well.
Although Twitter may have a slightly skewed image in popular culture as the place to learn about what celebrities had for lunch, it is actually much more useful than that. It is a place to share knowledge and news and entice people to join longer forms of communication. It can be as handy as giving you the daily updates about your retirement community, the scheduled activities, changes in programs, golf courses in repair and so on. We at Churchill Retirement have our own Twitter account for you to follow for all our latest articles and news on our developments. Twitter is effective in that the information shared is short and to the point.
All of the social media platforms discussed here are free! With so many different social network options available, there’s sure to be something that you enjoy. Ask friends and family for advice and enjoy.