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Positive Effects of Social Media for Seniors

Concerns over the impact that social media has on children and teens have been everywhere recently. So, it might be unnerving to see a report from the New York Post that the average American age 65 and older now spends nearly 300 hours each year on social media. Before you react, however, think it through. That’s less than an hour a day. Plus, there’s reason to believe that that might be time well spent. The positive effects of social media for seniors are numerous.

Exploring How Seniors Use Social Media

Exploring how older adults tend to use social media can help you understand its potential for positive impacts. Creating Results offers several useful insights:

  • Facebook is a favorite, with 60 percent of seniors saying they use it daily. They appreciate its easy interface, the connections, and the sense of community.
  • YouTube is another popular platform. The accessibility features and the mix of education and entertainment make it a winner.
  • LinkedIn is a common choice for research and learning.

Seniors aren’t committed to a particular social media platform. Researchers found them on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, they discovered older adults using social media generally had similar goals:

  • Connection: Seniors joined platforms where they could connect with friends and family.
  • Community: The chance to join online groups with similar interests was a common lure.
  • Information and learning: Social media disperses information and provides opportunities to learn about a wide range of topics.

Reflecting on Social Media’s Positive Effects on Seniors

The positive effects of social media for seniors are fairly easy to spot. Arguably, older adults who are active on social media can enjoy mental, emotional, and even physical benefits.

Stronger Ties with Family and Caregivers

Using social media regularly helps seniors build stronger ties with family members who are both near and far. They can see pictures and posts and comment and interact as others share their thoughts and achievements. These interactions can provide reassurance and increased comfort for both the seniors and their caregivers that their connections remain strong. It also is a resource that caregivers can use to watch over seniors without intruding, providing greater peace of mind for everyone.

Improved Health Outcomes

Social media is full of health stories. While seniors will have to be wary of misinformation, the reporting they encounter often serves as a reminder that they need to be mindful of their well-being. Likewise, seeing posts about a friend’s milestone or health scare can be a push to talk to their doctor about a concern. In a similar vein, if you maintain strong connections with family, you may be more likely to spot issues early, as your family can help you keep an eye out for concerns and schedule regular medical appointments. All of these factors mean that social media can have a positive impact on a senior’s health.

Stronger Cognitive and Mental Health

It’s widely recognized that social interactions strengthen mental health, and getting social online counts. However, some might be surprised to discover that social media can provide a cognitive boost as well. This 2018 study found that novice social media users got a definite cognitive boost as they learned to use the platform, but researchers noted that the many skills routinely used to interact on social media also engaged the mind.

Personalized Entertainment

It’s often tough to find in-person groups or classes that are devoted to specific hobbies or interests that meet at times and places that fit your schedule. This can be especially true for seniors. With social media, you don’t have to bend over backward to meet someone else’s timetable. The video cues up whenever you want, and you can easily rewind if you miss something. If it’s not quite what you want, you can search for something else. There’s no need to settle for something boring. Social media brings personalized entertainment to your fingertips and makes it easy to explore your interests at your own pace.


Are you interested in exploring the positive effects of social media for seniors? Use these virtual opportunities to connect and thrive.

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