How Seniors Can Connect Online via Social Media

Sunrise Senior Living  |  November 24, 2020
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Social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram can be used by people of all ages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors in particular are learning to enjoy the many benefits of connecting online.

Those unfamiliar with social media may be surprised at how powerful these platforms can be for staying connected with friends or long-distance family members. Social media sites are also great for meeting new people, staying informed on current events, and even learning about new interests!

Staying Connected
The Pew Research Center found that 69 percent of adults age 50–64 and 40 percent of adults 65+ use social media. Many of these sites make it easy to stay in touch with loved ones which is a common reason they are so popular.

With more seniors staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to connect with others and stay in touch is increasingly important. Platforms like Facebook and even Instagram offer ways for seniors to feel included in the lives of their family and friends. These sites are designed for sending online messages, sharing pictures, and reaching out to long-lost acquaintances.

Outlets like Facetime and Skype can enable seniors to interact in real time with their friends and loved ones when they are unable to meet in person. Other sites, such as LinkedIn, are specifically helpful for connecting with old colleagues. In comparison, Twitter is useful for staying current with news and human-interest stories. In these ways, seniors can stay in touch with people from their present, their past, and even those who live in another part of the country or across the world.

Sharing Photos
Another benefit of social media is the pleasure of sharing photos and videos. Whether pictures of a grandchild’s birthday or videos of a funny family prank, it is easy to understand the popularity of this type of sharing. Many users of both Facebook and YouTube regularly upload new milestones or videos for the enjoyment of friends and family. For older adults, being able to witness these sorts of memories online is priceless.

Seniors may also wish to share their own experiences via social media outlets. By posting vacation pictures or a new quilting project, these sites enable seniors to give loved ones a view into their lives and interests. These avenues for connecting are especially important as more people are isolating at home.

Meeting New People
For some, social media is a way to meet new friends or like-minded individuals. There are groups on major sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, that are geared towards a specific hobby or interest. Similarly, there are smaller sites that are designed around one ideology or activity. These smaller sites, such as Pinterest, are perfect for sharing recipes, craft ideas, and projects for around the home.

When seniors explore these online platforms, they may befriend the other people on the site as well. This enables them to build a virtual community with like-minded individuals who may share their perspective or a particular hobby.

Using these websites is a great way to maintain a healthy social life. Even when sheltering at home, seniors can still meet new people and bond over shared interests. They can keep up with friends and family that may live farther away and stay up-to-date on current news events.

Sunrise Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

Staying safe and healthy amidst a public health crisis requires everyone to work together. It also means businesses should be transparent in their approach to the pandemic. We encourage you to review our response and to call the community nearest you with any questions.


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