While older adults were not the earliest users of social media, the population has certainly jumped on the proverbial band wagon and adopted it in recent years in a significant way.
The definition of social media is surprisingly simple. According to this story from History Cooperative, social media is: “the different forms of online communication used by people to create networks, communities, and collectives to share information, ideas, messages, and other content, such as videos.”
In a 2018 Pew Institute Study referred to in this article on Senior Tech Club, “the top platforms used by seniors are Facebook and YouTube.” According to this story from SeniorNews.com, social media use can be a good thing for seniors. “Social media seems to have a positive effect on seniors’ well-being. For example, Internet use has been shown to reduce depression caused by isolation or loneliness by as much as 33%. Social media helps seniors feel connected to their families and friends, and provides important and accessible information to resources, information, and people with similar interests.
You probably have a Facebook page. Do you use Pinterest or Instagram? Have you ever seen a TikTok?
Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular social media platforms to help you decide which, if any, sites to add to your daily scrolling.
Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates started Facebook in their dorm room at Harvard in 2004, when they wanted to rate freshman girls’ looks. Less than two decades later, Facebook is used all over the world for everything from sharing family photos to promoting small businesses to finding long-lost family members and more.
You probably know that Eastcastle Place has a very vibrant and engaging Facebook page, showing off some of the community’s residents, staff, programs, activities, and more. We are proud to boast that in the past month, we’ve reached more than 5,000 people and had more than 1,000 post engagements!
Pinterest.com started in 2010 to help users save information and photos from the internet in one organized location. By creating theme-based “boards” (virtual bulletin boards), Pinterest became popular with brides for wedding planning, a perfect example of how Pinterest works. A bride creates a “board” for her wedding and posts wedding dress ideas, place card ideas, dessert table ideas, etc.
Instagram is based on photo sharing and used for sharing photos to your “Insta followers.” Facebook owns Instagram, so when you post to Facebook, you can automatically share to Instagram. Instagram is known for a variety of filters, which do everything from erasing your wrinkles to giving you cat ears to making your face look like a baby’s.
You may have heard someone say, “I saw it on Tik Tok.” The teens in your life might even make Tik Tok videos. This social media platform is known for clips of people dancing, cooking, cute animals doing cute animal things, and people sharing tips called “life hacks.”
Social media can be a great way to stay connected, but online safety is vitally important. The bottom line: never give out personal information to anyone you meet online.
It’s a good idea to take a break from social media to pursue social interactions “IRL” (the text talk for “In Real Life.”) Step away from the screen and connect face to face with your Eastcastle Place friends. Check out our monthly brunch & learn sessions and other events. We look forward to seeing you!