Social Media Tips and Safety Advice for Seniors

Many believe that social media is the exclusive domain of the younger generation. However, one of the largest and fastest growing communities on social media are those over 55 years old. For seniors, using Facebook and other social media sites, has enabled them to get in touch with long lost friends, stay in touch with family around the globe, see pictures of grandchildren, and learn more about the brands and causes that mean something to them.

Social media is an incredible tool for building and maintaining relationships, but it can be confusing and potentially dangerous if not used properly. Some general tips for helping your loved one experience the benefits social media safely, include:

  • Know Who You Connect With – Be sure that your loved ones only add those they know personally. Facebook is a great place to find old friends but be sure they are who you think they are before adding them.
  • Set Privacy Settings – When setting up a Facebook page, review the privacy settings to ensure only those you want seeing their information can access it. Using defined groups is a good way to share things with only those intended to see them.
  • Don’t Click on Everything – Many posts will use intriguing headlines to get users to click on them, however not every link is what it seems. Make sure they know and trust the source before clicking on any link.
  • Ask Before Sharing – Always ask for permission before sharing friends or family member’s photos or posts.
  • Don’t Share Your Location – Seniors who use social media to announce vacations or even shorter outings online are inviting burglars. While it may be tempting to share highlights of your adventures in real time, wait until you return home to do so instead.

Social media for seniors may seem unimportant to some, but it really does have the ability to positively affect loneliness, isolation, and mental stimulation of your loved ones. Don’t be afraid to try it!