There have been a number of studies recently to suggest that social media can have a detrimental effect on the younger generation, with one study even concluded that the more a young person spends on any social media platform, the more they perceive themselves to be lonely. However, it’s surprising to learn that almost the opposite effect can be found in the elderly and can very much help to fight the feelings of loneliness in the older generation.
The feeling of isolation that often leads to the cause of chronic loneliness in the older generation can be caused from a traumatic event – usually the loss of a spouse or loved one. Nowadays having family living across the country or even around the world is much more commonplace, and when these events occur people can feel much more isolated from the ones they love.
The recent booms in technology have given us endless ways to keep in contact with our friends and family, and giving the elderly the means to take advantage of this has been shown to be even beneficial to their overall health. One study even concluded that “Participants who used social technology more generally were more satisfied with life and had fewer depressive symptoms and chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.”
Whether it being able to skype children and grandchildren from across the globe, or even finding and reconnecting with an old friend on Facebook; with just a small amount of guidance, the much needed contact and engagement every human being needs is closer than ever for those that can feel isolated.
As the technology has progressed, it has also become much more accessible too. With the introduction of smaller touch-screen tablets and devices, the prospect of owning a computer no longer needs to be a daunting one and intuitive design and user interfaces make it easier than ever for less computer-literate people to use them!
Giving the elderly the gift of free and easy communication can improve their lives to no end, whether it be putting on a IT/Social Media workshop, or just popping round and giving someone you know a hand with getting to grips – social media can be key in aiding the fight against loneliness.