Once you decide to enter the world of social networking, you’ll be amazed at the variety of activities offered at social media sites. Before seniors began flocking to these sites, many smaller networking options existed specifically for older users. Today, seniors are abandoning their little corner of the Internet in favor of joining established sites and mingling with the crowds. The PEW Research Center learned that seniors in the 74+ age bracket are the fastest growing online demographic. Here we’ll take a quick tour of the top five online senior hangouts.
1. AARP’s Senior Community is a great place to cut your online teeth. You’ll find an active and vibrant senior community under the AARP umbrella.
2. Facebook is the largest and most popular of the social media sites, with more than 800 million members. You’ll likely find old friends on Facebook through the friend finder. Share your thoughts in posts on your wall (your front page), share photos and videos, maintain a timeline (a journal) of your activities, and join groups and events.
3. Twitter is the second most popular social media site. If you love text messages, you’ll love Twitter. Posts, called “tweets,” consist of a maximum of 140 characters and can include links and photos. It’s fast paced, pithy, educational, and full of breaking and trending news. You can search by keyword or name to find Twitter feeds of interest. Add people of interest to your Twitter feed so you don’t have to search for them each time you visit the site.
4. Pinterest will hold your attention for hours on end, and you can find boards that interest you by searching. This social networking site is a collection of categorized photos, videos, recipes, and articles that lead to websites with content in that category. If you like a photo (or other entry), you can “pin” it. The more pins it gets, the more popular it is. Pinterest is guaranteed to engage even the most discerning socia media player.
5. YouTube houses the world’s largest collection of videos. They say laughter is the best medicine. From homemade videos to old Carol Burnett and Saturday Night Live sketches, there’s humor for every funny bone. You’ll also find educational videos and documentaries on YouTube — something for every interest.
Each of the social media sites has a different “personality” and varying unwritten rules of etiquette, so watch and learn and then jump in with both feet. Thanks to social networking, you can expand your reach, make new friends around the globe, keep up with the news, and explore new interests and hobbies — all from the comfort of your own home.
After your whirlwind tour of the Internet, it’s time to get up and get active with more activities for seniors.
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