Social Media Savvy Seniors and Boomers Busy Online

Aside

People are discussing photos they share on Pinterest, the blog on their travels or the app they are using to track their fitness and exercise schedule.  These conversations on technology are not restricted to the local social media clubs; they are hot topics for senior services communities like Laclede Groves near Saint Louis and coffee shops where baby boomers meet.

Social media savvy seniors and boomers are busy online.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends. Social media savvy seniors and boomers may also be boosting brain power new research suggests.

Vibrant seniors and boomers are blogging and using Facebook, Twitter and Skype to keep up with families and friends.  Social media savvy seniors and boomers may not be the first to try the newest app or gadget; but are eager to adopt them once the technology is mainstream.  Older users on social media are active to discuss and share travel, health, hobbies or search for products, values, and discounts.  The social and digital contribution of these connected seniors is impressive! Baby Boomers are 80 million strong and growing.

In just five years, 50% of the US population will be 50+ projects Nielsen Research. (August 2012)

US Boomers’ Internet usage now is impressive:

– 33% of all online users

– 33% of all social media and Twitter

– 33% are heavy internet users.

Currently, there are about 21 million online seniors (those aged over 65 years old) in the United States according to Forrester Research, (June 2012).

Forrester finds 49% of digital seniors in the US are using Facebook.

– 91% of online seniors use email

– 59% have purchased products online in past three months

– 46% send/receive photos by email

– 44% play solo games online

– 24% sign up for coupons/freebies.

Staying connected online and through social media may be a great way for seniors to stay healthy. One recent study shows social media can give older adults a brain boost.  Researchers at the University of Arizona taught some seniors, over 65, how to use Facebook and then put them through cognitive and memory tests.  The new Facebook users fared 25 percent better on the tests than seniors who did not use the social network.

Boomers were raised in front of the TV and have always embraced media and technology. The size of the screens is now shrinking as they continue to grow with a constantly changing tech landscape that could help keep them young and connected for socializing, shopping and entertaining themselves on social media.

To see some of these savvy seniors in action on Facebook, I suggest you visit the Lutheran Senior Services page on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LutheranSeniorServices.

Love to Connect Online & Social Media: But What About Privacy?

I was working on an article last week about unusual marketing in public restrooms. I posed the question to my Facebook friends asking the most unexpected place they’ve found an ad. It was an immediate and varied response including some perspectives and experiences I was able to use in the article.

I am new to Facebook, but I am eager to share by participating in conversations online, getting opinions, sharing experiences and catching up with people who are very important to me—but I don’t see on a regular basis. This has been a great joy connecting with people where miles and time have come between us. I have been surprised at how the joy and satisfaction of these relationships springs to life online.

The biggest surprise has been the new and rich ideas I am enjoying as a result of my new and what some might call, “friendsters” I’m meeting online. I am discovering new ideas and perspectives as I share my experiences and ask questions. For instance, a new Facebook friend who has a cleaning business focused on public buildings has a perspective on what many business owners do wrong to turn off people who visit their facilities. I know I have in the past made some judgments about a business based on a visit to their restroom. It isn’t just cleanliness, but strong air freshener or even questionable colors, in a restroom can change the way visitors view a business.

At a time when we are all trying to do more with less to succeed in a down economy, I realize great ideas can come from anywhere. I’m excited to connect and talk with close friends and

those I don’t know well, but are willing to share their thoughts and perspectives with me. My employer, SBTV.com has an online community especially for small business owners, self-employed, and aspiring entrepreneurs where you can connect, blog, podcast, and find resources online to grow and promote your business.

With all the ways to collaborate and collaborate online, more of us are sharing our lives with people who are further removed from our daily lives. I was wondering about the loss of privacy as we reach out into the world to connect and share. What do you think? Do you manage your social media to protect your privacy? Or are you bravely entering the wide new world of social media with abandon? Please let me know what you think and what you are doing. I’d also love to hear some of the memorable conversations or ideas you’ve learned or come across via social media.