Social Media to Connect with Loved Ones

by Bruce Montgomery Ph.D. April 20, 2016

Social Media to Connect with Loved Ones

One of the best uses of technology is when it enhances interpersonal communications.

Let’s start with the obvious –hugging your grandchildren, your children or loved ones requires us to be in the same location at the same time. But sometimes your family or special friends live far away or have busy schedules that limit how often they can visit.

So the geniuses of the world have been inventing programs and devices to allow us to keep in touch through technology. Here are some options to consider when looking at ways to connect with family, friends or loved ones.

1. Facebook – Allows you to visit Facebook pages developed by family members or friends to see what they have posted – it could be photos, videos, announcements, invitations or news. You can also develop your own Facebook “page” where you can share images and words about your life. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with loved ones.

  • You can “Get Started with Facebook” by visiting their site.
  • Read about it through books such as: AARP Facebook: Tech to Connect [Paperback] Marsha Collier 2012 and My Facebook for Seniors by Michael Miller 2013

2. Twitter – From the Twitter website: “Twitter is a real-time information network that connects you to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news about what you find interesting. Simply find the accounts you find most compelling and follow the conversations. At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space. You can see photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to get the whole story at a glance, and all in one place.”

    3. Skype – Skype is a computer application that you can download to communicate with your friends and family. One of the more popular ways to use Skype for seniors is make one-to-one video calls with “anyone who also has Skype and a webcam or compatible smartphone.” Skype lets you talk with and see another person through your computer or other device that is connected to the Internet. 

    Technology is changing a lot – its capacity continues to double every 18 months. Television, phones and computers are all merging together so that they will ultimately become universal information sharing and communication devices. They can help us learn, communicate and keep safe. Some seniors and non-seniors may feel uncomfortable with technology at first. If you need help with technology – here are some suggestions:

    • See if a family member will help you– this can be a great way to connect with your technology-savvy kids and grandkids – of course we need to respect their time too.
    • Read about technology options – we offer links to a variety of self-help books
    • Go to a class at the local community college, senior center or school
    • Hire someone you know or who is recommended by a trustworthy person to teach you

    One reminder with technology – be careful with your personal and private information. If you say something, write something or share something online with someone – know that others may be able to see it. You will learn this as you develop your technology expertise! See our other blogs for warnings about technology spam and scams.

    *Note: Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!




    Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.
    Bruce Montgomery Ph.D.

    Author

    Dr. Bruce Montgomery is a licensed building contractor in Michigan and Florida. He is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist as designated by the National Association of Home Builders. He has also achieved an Executive Certificate in Home Modification from the University of Southern California. He has a wide ranging educational background, including a Master of Science degree in Entomology, with a Master of Science degree in Forestry and a Ph.D. in educational administration.




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