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How Seniors Can Shine Their Light Through Social Media

Social media and the internet in general offer many opportunities for seniors. And whether you're already savvy about search engines or you're not sure where to start with the world wide web, it may be worth learning more about this technological tool if you're interested in the global world or want to keep up with friends and family. Social media also offers seniors of faith opportunities to shine their light to others from any location, including an assisted living community.

Learning More About Social Media and the Internet

For seniors, access to social media and other internet tools is often impeded by two common barriers. The first barrier is actual access to the technology required to get online, which is a computer or mobile device and a Wi-Fi connection.

Individuals living in any of the Bethesda Senior Living Communities have several options for accessing the internet.

They can purchase their own computer, tablet or smartphone and leverage the community Wi-Fi systems.

They can inquire about common area computer rooms where they can use public computers to access the internet.

They can use Wi-Fi access and computers at local library branches.

A second common barrier to getting online is learning how to navigate technical devices and the world wide web. Seniors dealing with this barrier may want to talk to the assisted living community staff to find out if there are classes offered on-site or if this is a possible event that can be arranged. Seniors may also be able to take classes on social media, email and other topics at local libraries.

Shining Your Light on Social Media

Whether you're already on Facebook or other social networks or you're just learning and signing up for these connections, here are some tips for shining your light in a way that is faith-based.

Remember that nothing you share on social media platforms is 100 percent private. You can share more private information in direct messaging apps, including Facebook messenger. But when you're writing posts directly on Facebook, you shouldn't share anything that you wouldn't be okay with your children, grandchildren, neighbors or pastor seeing.

Share your faith and messages of encouragement with others. That might include sharing Bible verses from time to time, sharing parts of your testimony or simply offering words of affirmation or love to someone online. These are the types of posts that build you and others up.

Avoid sharing judgmental posts that call out people for their actions or ostracize a group of people, whether you know them or not. This is not the type of communication that builds up, and most seniors of faith know that. But the anonymity of online environments and the fact that you're not face-to-face with people is often a lure to speak and act in a manner that is mean-spirited. This is a temptation people of all ages must fight online.

If you're specifically using your social media to shine God's light, make sure that you ask yourself if each post you make serves that purpose. Social media is full of chain-mail type posts, for example, that present a seemingly innocent or faith-filled concept. They then go on to criticize any person that doesn't share the post, stating that the person is denying God by failing to do so. For many people on social media, chasing shares and likes is almost an addiction, and they write these posts for that purpose. Seniors who want to share their light through social media don't have to share these types of posts; it's enough to be authentic and encourage and communicate with people in a loving way.