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Today?s culture requires everyone, even seniors, to know that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Skype, Google and Apple are more than words. Rainstorms of social media campaigns fall into our daily lives, resulting in the reality that everyone?regardless of age?has been prompted to ?go online to learn more.? With all this jabber, it?s no wonder that aging adults (age 55 and older) have a desire to learn about these newfangled technologies. And not only have they learned how to utilize this technology, they love it. Aging adults are adopting internet, including social media platforms, into their everyday lives at an increasing rate.

The Pew Research Center?s Internet & American Life Project?which conducted research on seniors about their use of technology?reports than more than 51% of aging adults own a computer operating system (either laptop or desktop) and call themselves internet users. Even among the most advanced in age (75+), 82% recurrently use email to converse with family and friends.

Now that Grandma?s got the email thing down, it?s time that she mastered Pinterest. To help her learn about this virtual pinboard?and a host of other typically tech-savvy products on the market?Manhattan establishment, Senior Planet and its on-site Exploration Center, offers the senior crowd courses on digital technology to help them harness the power of the internet. Made available to seniors by nonprofit Older Adults Technology Services, Senior Planet strives to provide aging adults with a comfortable space in which they can become familiarized with the digital world in order to improve their quality of life.

Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime and other video sharing sites are also increasing in popularity among aging adults, with the Pew Research Center reporting that 27% of adults age 75 and older commonly utilize this technology to connect with their loved ones. Facebook is another way for seniors to stay connected to family, with the AARP offering a book to seniors interested in this technology that details how to create a Facebook account and make the most of it.

As technology continues to advance, let?s help the aging population discover the benefits it affords. With an influx in popularity of smartphones and tablets, the next potential challenge will be getting this age subgroup to step away from their computer and enjoy the ease offered by smaller, lightweight devices that offer the same features as computer systems. But, hey… we?ll save that lesson for another day.

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