Navigating Social Media for Older Adults

The last 100 years have seen lightning-fast progress and many societal changes. As an older adult or a caretaker of an older adult, you may feel unsure about how to take advantage of the digital age. Understanding how to navigate social media can help you and your loved ones have a positive and safe experience online.

What Are the Benefits of Social Media for Seniors?

The invention of social media has altered the course of interaction for most people, and many older adults are excited to create profiles on websites such as Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and more. The mainstream media often points out the negatives of using social media, but if you’re over 65, there are a lot of benefits to consider.

Social media can help you stay connected to friends and family who live far away. You can also discover events in your community and follow local and international news. Social media also exposes you to new ideas and perspectives that can broaden your horizons and spark intellectual interest.

Navigating Social Media for Older Adults. Senior woman using smartphone.

What Are the Risks of Using Social Media?

Companies such as Facebook and TikTok make it very easy to create a profile, follow friends, and start posting, but it’s important to be aware of the risks of using social media. Hackers and scammers target people on social media to try and steal users’ passwords and personal information, including credit card and bank account numbers. These security tips can help you mitigate the risks:

  • Adjust your profile settings to “private”
  • Use a strong and unique password
  • Never share sensitive information on social media
  • Keep information about your travels private

Remember that social media websites are free to use, but they are private companies that profit from ads and clicks. Evaluate the news items and marketing content you see with a critical eye. Does it come from a trusted source? Can you find the same information on another website?

What Is the Best Way To Have a Positive Experience?

Even if the risks of using social media as an older adult seem alarming, you can connect with people and organizations online and have a positive experience. Use these tips to help you navigate social media:

  • Choose two social media websites to participate in
  • Limit your screen time to no more than 90 minutes a day
  • Be selective about the friends you connect with online
  • Minimize stress by avoiding confrontations
  • Curate your online experience by following only your favorite pages 

If you feel like social media doesn’t add anything to your life, consider alternatives such as creating a family group chat on WhatsApp or Viber, private messaging apps where you can share personal information and photos and videos.

Discover Person-Centered Care With Elder Care Alliance

Building and maintaining meaningful connections can be challenging for older adults. That’s why a person-centered approach to elder care can make a big difference in senior living. Schedule a visit to see our modern communities and discover an approach to assisted living that centers on dignity and overall well-being.

For help or more information contact us or schedule a visit at a location today.