Social media is still a relatively new technology, but it has captivated the entire world in recent years. Sites like Facebook and Twitter amassed hundreds of millions of users worldwide in dramatically small amounts of time. Though it is natural for younger people to embrace emerging forms of technology, especially with regards to those that seek to connect groups of people together regardless of location, one segment of the population that is embracing social media in a big way might be the one that you least expect: the elderly. According to experts in the field of social media and those that monitor social media professionally, it is estimated that nearly half of the senior citizen population in the United States not only use the Internet on a regular basis, but are also active on social media sites like Facebook.
An even more surprising statistic reveals that men and women aged 74 and older are actually the fastest growing group of people on all types of social media in general. The benefits of social media for the elderly are clear - it's an easy, fun and exciting way to not only embrace new technology but also connect with tech-savvy family members in a way that wasn't possible even five years ago.
Another way that social media is benefiting the elderly has to do with both physical and cognitive benefits that they are receiving as a result. One of the best ways to improve a senior citizen's cognitive abilities is via socializing, which is unfortunately something that becomes harder as one ages. Social media, on the other hand, represents an excellent opportunity for senior citizens to communicate and stay up-to-date on the daily lives of their loved ones, even if they not longer have the ability to travel as they once did.
Research has indicated that social media helps senior citizens not only maintain a healthy and positive outlook on life, but it also dramatically reduces the risk of depression and other related mental illnesses.
Early research has indicated that an active social media lifestyle may not only enhance the cognitive abilities of senior citizens, but also help reduce the overall risk of conditions like dementia at the same time.