Seniors Get Social

Last week, the Atlantic Monthly wrote a long piece entitled, “Facebook for Centenarians: Senior Citizens Learn Social Media.”

The article was incredibly well timed, as just a few days prior our own resident, 96 year old Bill Sleeper, was hobnobbing with 200 of Seattle’s social media “Twitterati” at their monthly Social Media Club event.

The coincidence underscores the importance technology and social media are playing in the happiness and well-being of our residents. What started with Wii Bowling Tournaments has turned into classes on Email, Facebook and Skype, giving everyone a an easy way to stay in touch with children, grandchildren, friends and extended family via photos and video calls.

The Atlantic Monthly article highlights a few stats worth noting:
– The 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
– Social networking among Internet users ages 65 and older grew 100 percent between April 2009 and May 2010, jumping from 13 percent to 26 percent.
– Facebook, Twitter, and Skype all show the most growth in the older adult demographic.

The crowd at Social Media Club Seattle always enjoys Bill’s attendance, and the MC of the event once again took time to bring the microphone over for an informal ad-lib session.  Given the stats above, maybe next event Bill will bring some of his fellow social media savvy residents with him.

(You can see some of Bill’s Technology “How-To Videos” at www.merrillgardens.com)

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