Social media has always been a hit with younger generations, but it is starting to skew much older as more seniors are buying into its usefulness and entertainment factor. Recent studies point to four ways going digital can change the lives for those of us who are seniors, and here they are:

  1. Reduce isolation and create a sense of belonging. Social media allows you to connect with others as well as tap into other worlds you had not imagined.
  2. Keep you in touch with others. Social media can help you find and keep-in-touch with the people you miss like a friend you lost touch with years back, or a long lost relative.
  3. Stay up to date. You may find it hard to travel or join spontaneously activities with friends and family, but social media allows you to connect with others easily.
  4. Entertainment. Need a laugh or cry, a new recipe or even breaking news, well social media can offer that too.

If you are looking for a place to start you might try ones that are popular with the residents of The Redwoods like: Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Each of these offer a way to connect with relatives and friends. Before the pandemic Skype and WhatsApp were the primary methods of video chat and/or to send an instant message, but now most people are comfortable with using Zoom.

A couple of cautionary notes are appropriate. When using social media, be sure to always protect yourself from scammers by limiting how much personal information you share. Also, avoid excessive screen time by balancing your time on your cell phone or computer with other activities. Dr. Paul Weigle, a psychiatrist with the Natchaug Hospital, says, “Overreliance on social media interactions for socialization can be unhealthy and predispose people to depression. Social media should enhance our in-person relationships, not replace them.” So try not to overdue it and limit your time on Apps.

In summary, social media can help keep you connected, entertained, and has many other benefits, but be careful not to over-share or over-do it. Here is wishing you great, on-line experiences!

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