With all due respect, you pretty much have to be living under a rock if you have not at least heard of one or more of the following Social Media sites: Facebook, MySpace or Twitter. There’s also Friendster, Multiply, etc. etc. The list is endless.
Social Media is literally all around us. Your elementary school boyfriend (or girlfriend) wants to be your friend on Facebook. You can log on to check your Yoga studio’s schedule, even view your kid’s baseball practice updates. The talk show host/comedian, Ellen Degeneres, is asking you to “follow her” on Twitter and became a “fan” of her Facebook page to win exclusive prizes. Milwaukee Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva recently got into trouble for Tweeting (making a post in Twitter) during half time of a tie game. Need I say more?
Social Media has not only caught the attention of celebrities, NBA stars, tweens, teens, twenty, thirty and forty something’s; even Senior Citizens have taken notice. That’s right; your very own grandma is getting social!
OK, so she may not be sending you a friend request on Facebook or asking you to follow her on Twitter, but she could very well be on sites specifically tailored for seniors and baby boomers alike. These channels are an easy way for seniors to be active participants in the online community without feeling like they do not belong there.
Some of these sites include: Genkvetch, Seniorocity, ThirdAge, Eons and SeniorPeopleMeet. Genkvetch just enjoyed some nice PR in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on March 23rd. Their home page targets seniors by asking, “Out of place at Facebook, MySpace, and Friendster? Then this is your space!”
I think it’s wonderful that elders have a myriad of choices with respect to social media networks especially targeted to them. They can read and discuss topics of interest with people of similar ages. If the desire is there to engage in social media, there are channels available to suit all ages and interests!