No need to feel guilty about not making the rounds to all of your older relatives and friends this holiday season. Thanks to social media and other tech gadgets, the seniors in your family circle can stay in the loop and up to date on the latest family news, photos, and videos.
When Graphic Designer Leslie Kovalic lived and worked in Baltimore, she constantly worried about her older parents living in rural Michigan. Enter technology. Leslie purchased a laptop for them (since replaced by an Ipad), installed Skype, and taught them how to use technology to videoconference and email with her. “When you speak with someone on the phone, you can’t see their expressions. What they say may not match how they feel,” explains Kovalic. “On Skype, you know right away if there is a problem.” What’s more, her parents feel less isolated and in touch with friends and family, including their three-year-old granddaughter.
A 2013 study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project reports that 43 percent of Americans over 65 use at least one social networking site, compared to just one percent in 2008. In fact, the 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks, which are opening up new opportunities to reconnect with old friends from college, high school and childhood neighborhoods through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.