I grew up in a suburban area located on a small promontory, in a small, close-knit community. After school, some of my classmates drifted away to jobs in the cities, some moved across the country, and I moved across the world. Around 20 years ago, I had the good fortune to run into someone who had contact details of one of my best friends from school days, and when I eventually got hold of her we spent two hours on the telephone, catching up. Then she moved, and we lost contact again. Until now. I tracked her down recently, simply by searching for her name on Facebook. I found her profile, friended her, and now we chat daily, in byte-sized chunks, posting on one another’s walls and engaging in Facebook chat.
Finding Old Friends on Facebook
I’m by no means alone in this, however. A Facebook group formed during the past year for current and former residents of my childhood neighborhood has grown to more than 2,500 members, who now live all over the world. There’s an initiative running at present to locate everyone who grew up in my street, and so far we have reconnected with so many. A member finds someone, and then adds the person to the group. Suddenly I’m chatting for the first time in 40 years with Auntie Moira, who is now 76 years old and the mother of a classmate, who remembers my parents and the car they drove back then. And all this is possible as a result of social media technology.
VOIP and Video
Many older folk have an inherent distaste for platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but they have embraced Skype and other Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) conferencing options with enthusiasm. Suddenly parents with children and grandchildren living overseas can still be part of their offspring’s lives, by skyping into events such as birthdays, christenings, family dinners, weddings and funerals. The technology makes it possible for us to enter places and relationships, for business, pleasure and other purposes. A friend who recently moved to the Canadian Arctic regularly “joins” her brother for a beer and a chat on Saturday afternoons – via Skype.
Tweeting in the Twitterverse
The “twitter universe” is now one of the busiest communication channels in existence. Word has it that when Michael Jackson died, the news spread on Twitter even before the police were notified. Following family and long-lost friends on Twitter makes it possible for you to keep up with their activities, interests and comments, without necessarily communicating directly with them. Retweeting helps your friends to see issues you follow, read the articles you read, and view the images and videos you do. Twitter also has its own built-in private message system, so if your phone can tweet, you can communicate with other users that way.
The mobile versatility of social media tools has also helped to fuel the revolution. For those people who don’t have computer access to the Internet, mobile smart phones have opened the door to reconnecting in several ways. What’s App, a text messaging service designed for the Apple iPhone, is now available to all smart phones, and sends messages via the web free of charge for users who have data on their phones. Even non-smart mobile phones can mostly text directly to Facebook and Twitter, enabling the user to communicate without being tied to a computer.
Friends are important. Research conducted over a 10-year period shows that older adults who had a large group of friends were up to 22 percent were less likely to die during the period of the study than those with only a few friends. The power of family connections is well known, with many baby boomers embracing social media tools specifically to keep in touch with siblings, children and grandchildren, and enjoying the fact that they no longer have to keep track of birthdays, addresses and telephone numbers. Social media is here to stay, and with Facebook’s recent announcement that users can now post organ donor status on their profiles, the virtual world is truly beginning to overlap into real life.
- How You Can Use Social Media Sites to Market Your Business? If you’re looking to increase your presence you need to...
- Cell Phone Contracts – How To Use Different Networks In Your Phone Cell phones are no longer considered luxuries, but in fact...
- Hand Dryers Are Indispensable for Hygiene and a Touch of Class Hand dryers are associated with a large number of users...
- Mobile Bathroom Cabinets for Changing Looks of Washroom Frequently The bathroom is no longer a place which is used...
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.
Leave Your Comments »