Senior Citizen's Guide to Cleveland 2013 Vol. 1 - page 23
You wake up in the middle of the night; what do
you do? As one senior put it, “I think the Web a good
companion when you wake up at 3:00 in the morning,
can’t sleep, you go in there and turn your computer
on, and just start surfing the Web.” Before social media
was readily available on the World Wide Web (WWW),
seniors, particularly those who were housebound with
limited mobility, could be lonely and isolated from the
outside world except for an occasional phone call or visit
from family and friends. Research shows that feelings
of isolation can lead to further social withdrawal, loneli-
ness, depression, poor health, and lower well-being.
Using social media tools found on the WWW such
as email, blogs, social networking (Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn), Skype, photo/video sharing, support groups,
and gaming sites can provide seniors with a bridge to
the outside world and facilitate both social engagement
and interaction through a broad range of social rela-
tionships and activities. Some seniors report that they
are better able to communicate with friends and family
using these tools and feel as if they have left the house
even when they are homebound. The purpose of our
article is to share some of these tools and discuss issues
to consider when using them.
Social Media Tools Available on the WWW
Electronic mail or e-mail provides seniors with a way
to stay connected with family and friends. Many seniors
learn how to operate a computer just so they can email
loved ones and send and receive pictures. They are
The Importance of Social Media
for Seniors
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