Seniors increasingly exploring the world of social media
IF YOU want to widen your world, stretch your thinking and perhaps pick up a tip or two from like-minded folk, then check out the world wide web's blogs and Instagram.
The word blog is short for web-log which is an online journal or newsletter that is updated regularly and is posted on a website for people to read. Primarily blogs focus on sharing information with photos as an additional item. Instagram focuses on photos/pictures with words as a secondary offering.
Blog sites and Instagram accounts are not places to make friends (yes, perhaps acquaintances), rather they are like a book with a page being written daily and put out for you to read. The author is there to talk to you about their own experiences, observations, opinions and maybe hand out a list of practical hints. After the blogs articles/posts, there is usually a place for readers to reply.
These days hundreds (if not thousands) of seniors are revealing and sharing their lives in social media. They cover all sorts of topics from humour to finance and fashion together with caregiving.
IRIS Apfelt, a 98-year-old New Yorker, was among the first older women to be introduced to the world stage through electronic media. The respected interior designer, discovered by a famous street photographer, has been embraced by a global audience (she has 1.3 million Instagram followers and counting) for her colourful, wild, individual, I-dress-how-I-want, not how-you-tell-me style. Her in-your-face dressing exemplifies a dynamic visibility. Additionally, it reveals a bridging of the digital divide by a woman born in an era long before the development of electronic mediums. (Instagram: /www.instagram.com › iris)
On the other hand America's Pat Taub, creator and author of the WOW (women of wisdom) blog, appears to challenge the effects of older women's fashion Instagram accounts. Writing about the purpose of her blog, Taub says:
"I want to fill a gap in the blogosphere for blogs addressed to women past 60, bucking the current trend where blogs for older women consist largely of fashion and beauty tips, as if successful ageing depended on looking young!
"I refuse to buy into our culture's demeaning prescription for how to age as a woman.”
In her August 2019 blog post, Don't let your thinking block you in, she speaks frankly:
"Ageing can be so challenging for the older woman that it's a wonder any of us enjoy a happy old age, but it's within reach provided we adjust our mindset. We all can benefit from strategies to overcome the cultural negatives. (Women's older wisdom: wwblog.me)
Jane Giddan and Ellen Cole are two septuagenarians whose blog 70candles.com aims to pass on their experiences to upcoming 70-year-olds.
The introduction to their blog 70candles.com describes the purpose of their blog:
"We hope this exchange will be a source of inspiration for the next generation of seventy-year-olds,” it reads.
"Those baby boomers are hot on our heels, and want to know more about what lies ahead. Nobody gave us a guidebook or shared what this path might be like.
"As we burn those seventy candles, we can help shed some light on the trail for them.” (70candles.com).
Lastly, I will mention elder-blogger, American 78-year-old Ronni Bennett and her blog timegoesby.com. In 2018, Bennett published an interview discussing the beginning and end of her professional working life.
She said her career began in the 1960s when she produced a successful radio program. She went on to spend 25 years as a television network producer and/or writer. In 1996 she became the managing editor of the first CBS News website.
"For three years I got to help invent the commercial internet, as small as my part was,” Bennett said.
She followed up with similar positions at several other websites until, along with others, she was laid off in 2004.
"As my younger colleagues found new jobs within a few weeks, I could get only two interviews in an entire year.
It became obvious that 20-something managers would not hire a woman in her 60s,” she said.
Bennett attributes her anger about this to fuelling the creation of her blog. It also prompted her research into ageing and she found the media presenting a certain view, which she described as "three Ds - disease, decline and decay leading to a fourth, death.'' Bennett's blog, Time Goes By, what it's really like to get old, has seen her become an elder activist encouraging, supporting and promoting older people by giving them a voice on her blog.
timegoesby .net/weblog/elderblogs .html )
BUT it's not all about women. Here is a list of a few blogs that may interest you and give you an idea of what's out there.
But your best bet is to 'do the google' and find out what's available to suit your interests.
The Upside to Ageing - CAREGIVING WITH DIGNITY
The Upside to Ageing is a blog for caregivers run by Molly Wisniewski, who has been a dementia caregiver for more than 10 years.
She brings a positive and optimistic side to caregiving while acknowledging the frustrations felt by many dementia caregivers. Complete with caregiving tips, stress management techniques, and dementia caregiving news, The Upside to Ageing is a great place for caregivers to find community.