Social networking has long been a favorite among teenagers and young adults. Developed as a way to connect people with similar interest or even those with long lost connections, the various social networking sites have seen an explosion in popularity over the past several years. Almost everyone has a FaceBook or MySpace page, so much so that many people use it to keep up with each other’s lives. The phrase “I saw that on your FaceBook page” is more popular than ever. Recently senior citizens have begun joining in, touching base with long lost friends and making new ones. Senior social networking is on the rise.
Some seniors are leery of the prospect, believing that all of the social media sites are either too hard to use or geared towards the younger crowd. Nothing could be further from the truth. Social networking sites are designed to be easy enough for even those with minimal computing skills can use them. Simple questioners are used for collecting profile information and easy to navigate interfaces make getting around a site simple. The sites were not set up for a particular age group either. In fact, many of the popular sites utilize neighborhoods or groups that allow users to easily connect with others who share similar interest or even a similar age. No senior should be afraid of trying a social networking site.
Senior social networking can be used for a variety of purposes:
- Grandparents: Grandparents can use the sites to keep up with their grandchildren. Pictures and status updates can help grandma and grandpa see what the kids are doing – and they can share their lives with the kids as well.
- Reconnect: all of the social networking sites have easy to use search function that help people, even seniors, find long lost friends. Search by school to find old high school chums or by employer to locate a favorite co-worker.
- Hobbies and More: Use the neighborhood or group function to find other seniors in your area with similar interests. Easy to use search functions can help a senior find others who like to needlepoint, golf, bird watch or contra dance.
- Research: Many sites include a blogging function which can be an excellent source of information for medical conditions, personal issues and more. Blogs can be fun as well. Seniors often find blogging an excellent outlet for creative energy.
- Games: many of the social networking sites offer a variety of free games that are exploding in popularity. Farm, mine or build cities to your heart’s content – along with your friends.
Social networking isn’t just for the kids. In fact, senior social networking is on the rise. Anyone with internet access can get started in less than ten minutes. In no time at all you can be finding lost friends, chatting with the grand kids and finding people with similar interests. Social networking is likely to continue growing, meaning that everyone, not just the teenagers, will have a page of their own.