There's no getting around it, we're living in the information age. Technology is everywhere, and it's increasingly becoming a fixture in everyday life. While some older adults are intimidated by the change in our culture, many are embracing the challenge of learning something new. A recent Pew Research Center project shows more than half of Americans over age 65 use the Internet or email. Of those older adults who are online, a third use social networking sites. While there are many social networking options on the Internet, Facebook is by far the largest and most widely used.
Here, we expand upon the blog Should Older Adults Join Facebook? 4 Reasons It May Be For You, giving you even more reasons you should consider joining a social media network like Facebook.
- Using Facebook Can Keep You Mentally Sharp: A recently released University of Arizona study indicates adults older than 65 can benefit from a boost in cognitive function by using Facebook. The researchers found older adults performed 25 percent better on cognitive tests after learning to use Facebook. The process of learning to navigate the complex social media site seems to sharpen new users problem-solving skills, the study said.
- Engage With Your Community: Are you a fan of the local library? Do you volunteer with the garden club? Are you active in your church? Following the Facebook pages of business, community groups, and even local government agencies can be a good way to keep up with whats happening. You may even find more events and things to do around town by keeping up with your favorite groups on Facebook.
- Keep Up with Your Grandchildren: Do you miss your grandson's smiling face? Theres a good chance he or his mom just posted a new photo of him to Facebook. Your children and grandchildren are more than likely already using Facebook to share photos and post updates about their lives. Its convenient and fun to keep up with your grandchildrens zoo trips and soccer games using Facebook, especially if they live far away.
- Make Your Mark on the Internet: Facebook not only allows you to keep up with other peoples lives - it also gives you a chance to share your own important moments. Make your mark on the Internet by sharing photos of your recent trip to Florida or of your beautiful new grandbaby. Sharing happy moments in your life can also make you feel more connected to your friends and relatives.
Remember, its OK to ask for help when youre starting a new Facebook page. Ask a friend or family member to walk you through setting up a new profile and for help making a few initial connections. Many local libraries and community enrichment programs also offer Facebook help and classes for beginners.
See our first post about using Facebook by clicking here, and check back next time when we discuss potential pitfalls to look out for on Facebook.