Secret #15 An Active Social Network
As you get older, your social support network becomes increasingly important.
You draw your social support network from a much broader social network.
Successful retirees generally have robust social networks that provide them with friendship, fulfilling activities and life structure.
As part of your retirement plan, you might want to think about the quality of the social network that you have today and your plans to build it. One of the lessons that we can learn about the aging process is that our social networks begin to shrink–if we aren’t continually adding to them.
You can join clubs, meet new people and get out of the house to do new things. In retirement you are going to want a lot of people who you can count on and it makes good sense to continue to seek out new opportunities to socialise.
Analysts boldly claim that seniors comprise as high as 8% of all people who avidly use social networking sites, and for good reasons: seniors and the so-called baby boomers produce all this internet traffic to reconnect with old friends, to make new friends, or simply to share personal information and media files (photos, videos, music) with others. Such online social activities, doctors say, are also healthy—it keeps seniors mentally and socially vital.
Facebook, however, is not the only player in the field. In fact, the high numbers of seniors taking to online social networks have encouraged many an internet entrepreneur to launch web start-ups as their own attempt at taking a slice of this lucrative pie. Seniors are often retired, with money to burn. And it doesn’t hurt to target this paying demographic group.
So how does Online Australia compare?
According to the ABS, 43 per cent of internet users aged 65 and over accessed the internet to engage with social media in the three months to June 2015. This compares to 72 per cent for the national population aged 15 and over 16
The Sensis 2015 Yellow Social Media Report 17 indicates that Australians aged 65 and over who use social media accessed the following social media sites:
Facebook: 88 per cent
Google+: 16 per cent
LinkedIn: 12 per cent
Pinterest: eight per cent
Twitter: four per cent
Instagram: two per cent.
ACMA research has shown that older internet users also use communication apps such as Skype or Facebook Messenger to stay in touch with others online.
An estimated half-a-million older internet users (23 per cent) used communication apps in the six months to May 2015 to either make voice or video calls, or send messages. This compares to 54 per cent of all online adults.18
The most popular communications apps for older internet users included:
Skype (19 per cent),
Facebook Messenger (13 per cent),
FaceTime (eight per cent),
Apple iMessage (seven per cent)
Social media start-ups are vying to accommodate the fastest growing proportion of online Australians, baby boomers.
People over the age of 50 accounted for 32% of Australia’s online presence and 20% of its social media use in July 2012, according to the most recent Nielsen poll.
In 2011, Andrew Dowling launched Tapestry, an online platform designed for seniors that integrates social media, email, village notice boards and other features into one, user-friendly interface.
Mr Dowling conceived the idea after observing some of the more alarming trends in aged care, reflected in the experiences of his own grandmother.
His vision for Tapestry was that it would assist the elderly to combat feelings of social isolation and loneliness by helping them stay better connected with family and friends.
By interconnecting with popular social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, users can automatically reach loved ones who exist in those networks, without having to sign up themselves.
Mr Dowling has currently postponed further development of the Tapestry program to pursue his latest venture, Stitch.
While Tapestry helps seniors connect with people they know, Stitch is the gateway to connecting those who don’t yet know each other.
“When you get to a certain age, your social circle inevitably shrinks as people die or move away.
“We built Stitch because nobody needs to feel lonely, no matter what their age.”
What Is Stitch?
Stitch is a community which helps anyone over 50 find the companionship they need.
Our grand vision is to help improve the lives of older adults in every country around the world and provide an answer to the social isolation and loneliness that everyone ultimately faces at some point in their lives, whether they’re seeking friendship, romance, or anything in between.
What makes Stitch completely unique is that it’s a community, one that’s been built by members, for members.
That means everything at Stitch is a result of the efforts of Stitch members, whether that’s local activities and events designed to bring people together, online discussions with other members around the world, group travel events, helping with member verification, even volunteering their time to help grow the community.
Our members know what it’s like to need companionship, and ultimately everyone has a role to play in making life better for each other.
How We Can Help
http://bit.ly/2EuhqjT is our Facebook page and you can come ask questions and we will aim to help you or even the community will be able to help. Our website is below and you can also talk to us here.