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March 04, 2013

Should Older Adults Join Facebook? 4 Reasons It May Be For You

No doubt you’'ve heard your young loved ones raving about Facebook, the online social network with more than one billion monthly active users. And while you’'re definitely one for trying new technology like eReaders to better your life, you’'ve never really believed Facebook offers any real benefit for you. However, a new study may just change your mind. 

The study, conducted by a graduate student in the University of Arizona department of psychology, revealed that adults over the age of 65 who learned to use Facebook performed about 25 percent better on memory tasks than those who did not learn how to use Facebook. 

Facebook certainly isn’t the only way you can boost your memory, but the data has many older adults wondering if now is the time to finally give the social network a chance. Here, we share four reasons Facebook may be fore you. 

  1. It improves your health – Not only can Facebook improve memory in older adults, studies also indicate Facebook can help some people relax, slow down their heart rate, and decrease stress. A recent study found that a natural high was sparked when students used Facebook, supporting the researchers’ hypothesis that Facebook’s success correlates to the specific positive mental and physical state users experience. Another study conducted by researchers at Cornell University revealed that people experienced increased self-esteem when using Facebook. 
  2. It connects you with support groups – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 10 percent of U.S. adults over 50 report they rarely or never receive the social support they need. The percentage is even higher for those older than 65. Facebook is a great place for these adults to turn to discover supplemental support. Facebook Pages like Kendal Northern Ohio, LeadingAge, and AARP provide helpful tips and begin conversations for older adults with similar interests. 
  3. It helps you stay connected with loved ones – Facebook is increasingly becoming one of the most effective methods for staying in touch with loved ones. On Facebook, you can not only connect with family and friends in an instant, but also see their pictures and learn about interests you may have in common! 
  4. It introduces you to new people and ideas – Facebook is especially beneficial for those who live in rural areas or those who prefer not to or aren’t able to leave their homes often. Through Facebook, you can communicate with new people outside the bounds of your home and community. Facebook can also be a good place to turn for those who have recently lost a spouse and are now living alone. 

These are just a few reasons Facebook may be a good outlet for you. For more information on strengthening your memory, download the free guide “Remaining Active: How to Begin a Regular Exercise Routine” today!

Photo credit: benstein via photopin cc


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