Social media: how it can be used to enhance your retirement

More and more older Australians are using social media to enhance their retirement.

It’s no secret that social media keeps the community connected on a global scale. Many people of all ages enjoy using platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, to keep up to date with world news, views and current affairs, as well as keeping in touch with friends and family all over the world.

Using social media is no longer something for the younger generation. In fact, nowadays, around 35 per cent of people aged over 65 have adopted the use of social media. And for good reason. Social media can really help to enhance your retirement years. But before we share how, let’s take a quick look at the most common platforms.

Facebook
We’re going to start with the big kid on the block, which is the most widely used social media platform in the world. In fact, half the world’s internet users have a Facebook account, so that should give you an idea of the amount of content available. Facebook is great for finding long, lost friends, keeping in touch with family, joining virtual groups, finding recipes and interesting articles about, well, whatever you’re into really. Why not like our Facebook page to get you started?

Instagram
Instagram is fast becoming one of the most popular social media networks around. It is primarily a photo-sharing app with little importance placed on text, although you can write as much as you want about the photo you post. The app, best used on a smartphone, is also fantastic for its innovative use of pre-set photo filters. Simply upload your pics, then pick a fancy filter, and your photos will take on a new life of their own. You can also share and view videos with your family and friends.

Pinterest
The primary use of Pinterest is for sharing images that can be saved to ‘boards’ for future use. It’s kind of like a digital photo album or scrapbook. You can share your own photos or follow other public pages. It’s a handy platform for sharing food pics, craft ideas, projects and whatever tickles your fancy.

Twitter
Twitter is good for getting out an idea or opinion in 140 characters or less, although there are rumours that the character count could soon increase. Users can follow popular celebrity accounts, news services and social groups, as well as friends and family.

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is primarily a business networking platform, but that doesn’t stop you from using it for your own benefit. Log in and create your own profile and you may end up finding some part-time work with someone or a company looking for your specific skill set. It’s handy to keep in touch with former workmates and there’s also a forum for people who want to discuss theories, research and new advances in technology, health, business and more.

YouTube
YouTube is more than just funny dog and cat videos. Want to learn how to paint with oils or the best way to repaint your house? Chances are, you’ll find a how-to video on YouTube. It’s also fun to reminisce – you’ll be amazed at the number of nostalgic videos, films and documentaries available. Users can subscribe to any number of ‘channels’ and can also be alerted when videos of interest are posted.

 

How social media could enhance your retirement
Learning to use social media effectively may take some time, but it can be well worth the effort. Some of the ways in which social media can enhance your retirement include: 

  • re-connecting with lost friends
  • saving money by finding deals and discounts from vendors advertising services and promoting ‘online only’ special offers
  • finding health and lifestyle information that can improve your quality of life
  • staying up to date with news and current affairs
  • learning new skills, such as painting, crafting, photography or computing. This not only stimulates brain activity, but also enhances creativity
  • mastering new skills improves confidence, and opens up possibilities for part-time or freelance employment, or enables retirees to join new social group and networks
  • being a part of family life, no matter the distance, by sharing photos, videos and updates on family activities
  • reducing the feeling of social isolation, particularly for those who have no means of transport, or have restricted movement
  • improving demeanour and sense of wellbeing through staying connected with friends and family and making new social connections
  • enjoying the ability to live more happily and independently, through interacting with others regardless of distance and finding new sources of interest
  • let’s not discount those funny cat and dog videos either – they’re certainly good for a laugh and, as we all know, laughter is the best medicine
  • and it can be a lot of fun, too!

Above all, social media is what you make of it, so why not give it a go?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    Charlie
    3rd Mar 2016
    11:42am
    The most important thing I have bought since my retirement is a laptop computer. These days, anyone who is living alone and doesn't have one is at a great disadvantage.

    The down side is the monthly line costs, virus and backup costs and the occasional repair when the virus protection doesn't work. I have to cover this just from my pension but I rely on it so much its almost as important as pain medication.

    I was fortunate enough to have been employed previously in a job where I had already acquired basic skills and didn't have to start from zero, which is very hard.
    jackie
    3rd Mar 2016
    1:02pm
    Charlie don't waste money on virus protection there is plenty of free virus protection about to download and half the time it's not needed unless you download porn.
    Anonymous
    3rd Mar 2016
    8:13pm
    Charlie, as Jackie said, there are a lot of "freebies" about. Not only free, and good, virus protection, but also free ad blockers to save you data usage and lessen wastage of time, and free VPNs with a variety of uses. Your laptop was a very good retirement investment and will certainly be worth it's outlay in the entertainment, knowledge, and information , as well as all their associated tangent topics you will come across. Also great free weather, news, TV guides, etc, etc, all in app forms. Enjoy.
    buby
    10th Mar 2016
    12:46pm
    now don't be complacent. Those so called freebies, can actually cause more pain than its worth.
    Now i'm an oldie, and i have been computing since the whole thing started.
    and my experience is Don't use the freebies.
    Ya just better off buying Virus protection and be done with it.
    LEss hassle, trust me
    Especially if your not used to your computer, and how all the other things work with it.
    so to save your bacon, dont use the freebies cause their a suck in.
    Cause i been sucked in many times too lol.
    and really its not been funny, and my experience was when i bought one. OH soooooo much less hassle, and NO down time, and no extra costs thankyou much for reading.....:)
    HarrysOpinion
    4th Mar 2016
    6:07pm
    It can certainly preoccupy your time. Especially the time it takes to read and post comments. I gave up watching TV as often as I did when I was younger and that was a breath of fresh air. Then Internet got my interest because it allowed me to be proactive to state my opinions.Time to drop this and go out and smell the roses again. There are things to do, people to see and places to visit...there's life going on outside the 4 walls I waste my time within...
    buby
    10th Mar 2016
    12:49pm
    this is true, Hs. have a good one.
    Joining a computer club certainly helped me too.
    Depending on where you live.
    You can get some good advice, to help you run your computer, if really needed, and you get to socialise and meet new ppl as well.
    A. N. Onymous
    14th Mar 2016
    12:50pm
    Facebook for Seniors

    Hi, Seniors (and other non-Facebook users).

    This is for those of my generation who do not use and cannot comprehend why Facebook exists.


    I am trying to make friends outside of Facebook while applying the same principles.

    Therefore, every day I walk down the street and tell passersby what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later, and with whom.

    I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

    I also listen to their conversations, give them the "thumbs up" and tell them I like them.

    And it works just like Facebook. I already have four people following me -- two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.


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