Why use Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter?  Here’s Why!

by Jeff Hartman

social networkingThink Facebook may not be for you?  Think again – In fact, you are a part of its fastest growing audience!

Just ask Florence Detlor of Menlo Park, California.  At the age of 101 she has been named one of Facebook’s oldest users – of which there are currently 900 million.  When she joined the social networking site in 2009, she signed up to keep herself current with the latest trends.  Now she is in frequent contact with family, and making new friends around the world.

Since 2009, social networking use among Internet users ages 50 and over has seen a steady annual increase.  As of February 2012, it is estimated that 50% of Internet users ages 50-64 are actively using a social networking site*.  As for those ages 65+, 34% of Internet users from this age group reported going online and participating in some form of social networking*.

Early indicators already show another rise in the number of older adults who participate in social networking.  Some of the more popular social networking websites for the 50+ crowd are Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

social networking

Why Facebook is Right For You
One of the best reasons to participate in Facebook is, well, it seems that almost everyone else already is!  Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with the family and friends – or keep up with the kids and grandkids… all at the convenience of your computer or mobile phone.  Chances are, a great deal of the people you know can be found on Facebook and will welcome you to be “Facebook Friends” with them.

What can you find on Facebook?  From your added “Friends” you will see all of the things they would normally share with you, consolidated onto a single website.  You may find photos from recent family vacations and babies, health updates and daily status posts which are used to start conversation.  Feel free to comment on these posts, it’s always fun to interact!  Facebook also features a search bar, along with a way to directly message your friends without needing (or having to remember) their email address.

Not only can social networking help you keep up with your family and friends, but you can also follow current news and events.  By searching for national news organizations like CNN and the Wall Street Journal, or even your local newspaper, you will stay informed because they update their Facebook or Twitter instantly as news happens.  Also, more often than not, your friends and family will announce news as they hear it.

…And Then, There Are Promotions
You can also save money.  More companies are beginning to use Facebook and Twitter to give out exclusive discounts, coupons and announce special sales for their followers.  By following, or “liking” your favorite stores and products, you can be one of the first to know about promotions and giveaways.  Following companies is also a great way to learn more about them, or directly reach them.  Recommendations, both positive and negative, can be found from other users like yourself.  Often companies will respond quickly to feedback on their Facebook page or Twitter “feed”.

social networking

Ready for Pinterest?
One of the newer social networking sites, Pinterest, has become a site for those “do-it-yourselfers”.  Arts and crafts, scrapbooking, home remodeling ideas and much more can be found by subscribing to your favorite hobbies through “pin boards”.  There are even options to sync your Facebook or Twitter profile with your Pinterest account so they can all work together.

What ever your motivation for joining a social networking site, one thing is certain – you will never be lonely or bored.  With plenty of articles to read, pictures to look at and projects guides – technology is helping you to be…social!

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*Pew Internet: Social Networking, 9/17/12

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