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Becoming active on social media

Senior Wellness | Jul 27, 2015



Social media websites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram help keep people more connected. These websites provide an easy way to share pictures, news and achievements with those you love.

By learning to navigate through social media you can become better connected with your friends and family. Facebook and Twitter serve as some of the great new activity ideas for seniors you can enjoy.

"Facebook use can actually provide a cognitive boost for older adults."

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Know the benefits
According to preliminary results from a study conducted at the University of Arizona, Facebook use can actually provide a cognitive boost to older adults who are active on the site. Individuals older than 65, who learned to use the social media website, performed nearly 25 percent better on their ability to continue to learn new information quickly. This function is commonly referred to as updating by psychology professionals.

"The idea evolved from two bodies of research," said Janelle Wohltmann, a graduate student in charge of the study, according to the University of Arizona. "One, there is evidence to suggest that staying more cognitively engaged - learning new skills, not just becoming a couch potato when you retire but staying active - leads to better cognitive performing."

She went on to emphasize the benefits of increase interactions with other individuals.

"There's also a large body of literature showing that people who are more socially engaged, are less lonely, have more social support and are more socially integrated are also doing better cognitively in older age," noted Wohltmann.

Select a site
When deciding to sign up for a website, there are a number of options you can choose from. Depending on what you want out of your social media experience, you may want to sign up for a different site. Twitter focuses on providing you access to a high volume of individuals and the content they want to share quickly, while Instagram is more visual with the pictures those you follow wish to share. Facebook combines both of these types of content a user can share.

If you are just beginning to learn how to use social media, try to focus on learning one social media site at a time. After making your choice and signing up, consider asking a friend or family member to show you a few tricks of the trade.

Connect with your loved ones
Find your friends and family members by reaching out and letting them know you are new to the social media scene. You can easily search for users and begin enjoying the benefits this technology can offer.