It’s easier to stay connected with the whole world now than at any other time. Social media lets you connect with people all over the world instantly. Learn how to start taking part in the new world of social media with this quick guide.
You may be reluctant to try social media, especially if you’ve seen the negative side effects in others. Like anything, social media can be abused and be harmful to your overall mental state and stress. This can come from the constant stream of negative news or from getting addicted to scrolling.
But social media does have many benefits when it’s used responsibly. It’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family who live far away, and it can help you create new online friends. It may even be good for your mental state by helping you avoid feelings of isolation.
Now that you know social media can be a good thing when used responsibly, you probably want to know how to do that. There are two major things to keep in mind when using social media: protecting your information and protecting your brain.
The best way to protect private information is to simply never post it. If there’s something you wouldn’t tell a stranger, don’t tell the internet. Anything you post is forever; even if you delete it, that post is still out there for people to find.
You also want to adjust your privacy settings on any platform you use so only the people you want to can see your posts.
Protecting your brain is a more individual thing. But you can take steps to avoid getting sucked into your phone by setting time limits for yourself. You can also unfollow any pages or people who post content that you don’t want to see or that affects you negatively.
Each social media platform has its own niche and identity. Depending on what you want to do with social media, one, some or all of them might be for you.
Here are some of the major social media platforms.
Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for seniors. It lets you easily stay in touch with family members and friends. You can post images or written text for all your friends to see, or you can use direct messaging to connect individually.
Facebook has some other useful tools, like photo albums, games and a marketplace where you can buy and sell items. There are tons of features to explore and enjoy on Facebook so get started by making an account.
Instagram is Facebook’s aesthetic counterpart. It’s geared more to sharing pictures and short videos. The platform is also more streamlined than Facebook and easier to use on a mobile device like your phone or tablet.
This social media platform is better for discovering and interacting with people you don’t know in real life. You can find people creating content about countless themes and hobbies. Instagram is the perfect place to discover artists, fashion trends, music and other creatives.
Try this. Create a themed Instagram account. Choose one of your hobbies or interests and create an Instagram account to share about it. For example, if you scrapbook, you could post pictures showing the scrapbook process. This is a great way to connect with people with similar interests and share your passion.
If you really want to keep up with the kids, TikTok is the place to go. It lets you post short video clips 𠅁 usually of only a few seconds. Most TikTok content is humorous and appeals to younger generations and pop culture.
That being said, there are many seniors on TikTok and even some senior accounts that are pretty popular. Some senior TikTokers share the wisdom they’ve accrued, others share informational content like historical and scientific facts, and some just post fun videos of them dancing.
If you want to post silly videos with your friends and show your grandkids you’re still hip, create a TikTok account.
Pinterest is the perfect place for crafty seniors to find inspiration. It acts like a virtual bulletin board where you can "pin" favorite recipes, funny jokes or decorating ideas for your assisted living apartment. You can create your own boards, follow friends and family who have Pinterest accounts and interact via messages and comments.
Reddit is a classic, forum-style platform where you can join groups called “subreddits” with people with similar interests. You only see posts from the subreddits you join, and you can make posts that only appear in the subreddit you post them to.
This can be a great platform for seniors to have discussions about their favorite topics and share their knowledge. Here are some subreddits seniors might enjoy:
The Gardens at Barry Road offers free Wi-Fi, so you can access social media accounts on any of your devices.