How Dangerous is Social Media to Seniors?

Ten years ago, few people would have predicted that seniors would become some of social media’s most passionate users. But today 62% of seniors are on Facebook. Other studies show that social media use among seniors is rising rapidly.  How Dangerous is Social Media ?

As more and more seniors use social media, there are growing concerns. Most research indicates that social media improves quality of life for elderly adults. But some senior care professionals are increasingly worried about the dangers that social media could pose to seniors’ well-being.

On the whole, social media seems to have a positive effect on seniors’ well-being. Internet use can reduce the risk of depression and can improve cognitive functions.

Social media also opens new ways for seniors separated from their children and grandchildren by long distances. Facebook makes it easy to keep in touch with family members. Video-calling is particularly popular with seniors, who use services like Skype to connect with their grandchildren.

So, what are the concerns?

The biggest concern is how social media affects seniors’ in-person interactions. Senior isolation is a serious problem among the elderly, one with devastating health effects. Social media use can alleviate some of these effects, but it’s not enough. Seniors need to regularly spend time in the physical presence of others to avoid the emotional, mental, and physical effects of senior isolation.