Older adults using social media to keep in contact with friends and family | News, Sports, Jobs
Many older Americans are turning to social media to keep in contact with family and friends. But even earlier than quarantines and stay-at-home orders pressured us to discover new methods to talk, seniors had been among the many quickest rising demographic for social media customers.
A research by the Pew Research Center confirmed that 34 p.c of these adults 65 and older use social media platforms. Analysis of a Pew Research survey reported in 2019 instructed that 68 p.c of these ages 55 to 73 personal a smartphone, as do 40 p.c of these ages 74 to 91. Two-and- fifty p.c of these in the 55-73 age group and 33 p.c in the 74-91 age group reported proudly owning a pill laptop.
Through social media corresponding to Facebook, older adults are in a position to alleviate emotions of loneliness and isolation – which may lead to well being issues, each psychological and bodily – by staying in contact with family members who stay far-off or by reconnecting with previous friends after years of drifting aside. This is very true for seniors whose bodily limitations could make it troublesome for them to go away the home.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter additionally permit seniors to keep up with information and neighborhood occasions, whereas others like YouTube provide alternatives for leisure and studying via movies. Other platforms present leisure via video games and studying alternatives via articles.
But whereas social media might help older adults keep related and keep their minds lively, it would not come with out its dangers. Seniors will be notably susceptible to these threats, particularly those that have little understanding of or expertise with the risks current in the digital neighborhood.
One of the largest threats seniors face when coming into the realm of social media comes in the type of monetary scams. The trusting nature of many older adults makes them a simple goal for scammers and thieves, who prey on their willingness to assist others. Some scammers pose as family members asking for cash to get them out of a nasty state of affairs like jail, whereas others declare to be from a utility firm or the IRS and threaten reprisals if they do not get what they declare they’re owed not.
Likewise, as a result of many seniors are so keen to belief different folks, they generally wrestle to distinguish between factual headlines or information articles and these which are deceptive or outright false. While social media platforms will be an effective way for older adults to keep up with the information or do extra in-depth analysis on matters that curiosity them, not all the info discovered on these platforms is true.
Often different customers will submit opinions or hypothesis as truth with out verifying the precise reality behind these claims. In different conditions, tales that seem to come from credible information sources could also be planted to sway opinion and might knowingly comprise distorted or misguided information that some older adults might wrestle to acknowledge.
Experts warn that melancholy or emotions of loneliness in older adults are generally exacerbated by way of social media. These folks might even see images or learn feedback posted by friends and assume that these individuals are happier or lead extra fulfilled lives than they’re. Posts by family members can generally lead to larger grief in seniors as a result of they do not see these family members in individual usually.
Education can usually be among the best defenses in opposition to the risks related with social media platforms. Many libraries and organizations provide lessons that train seniors the finer factors of using social media safely. They can find out how to use privateness protections and advert blockers to restrict the methods their exercise is tracked whereas on these platforms. They also can find out how to block different customers who could also be posting inappropriate or undesirable content material.
In some instances, it will probably additionally assist to have the help of a trusted pal or beloved one who will be there to assist and supervise ought to questions or suspicions come up whereas using social media, particularly when monetary transactions are concerned. is. Having the right approval procedures in place earlier than cash is transferred electronically also can present an additional layer of safety in opposition to thieves.
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