Social networking going senior

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It may have started with the dorm room crowd, but, now, it's spreading to the retirement home.

Updating her Facebook status, 88-year-old, Anita Dent, aka MeeMaw's, says it is like checking the mail.

"About the time I learn something, they have something new," said Dent. "It keeps me on my toes."

She signed on for the first time about two weeks after she bought her new Netbook.

"[I signed up mainly] to keep up with my grandchildren," said Dent. "Sometimes I think it's silly...but it keeps me in touch with them."

Those grand kids also got her plugged into a couple of their blogs. But...

"Every once in a while, I'll see a news story I just have to read," said Dent.

"Seniors have so much to offer, still," said Joanne McMeans with Prestige Estates. "Their expertise, their experiences...wouldn't it be wonderful if they continued to grow in that area?"

McMeans says she just signed onto Facebook, herself. She says social networking is not the most happening thing with her residents, but it's happening. It's reported nearly half of the nationwide 70-75 age group is online.

"I think seniors, in general, don't want to feel as if the world is passing them by," said McMeans.

Today, 92-year-old Helen Rackets is not at the quilting table, but her computer desk.

"I have a brother, and sister and another sister still living," said Rackets.

For now, emailing does the trick. But, she says she is curious about this whole, "Twitter" thing.

"Because they talk about it on TV all the time," she said. "Everybody's Twittering..haha."

The number of social networking seniors is expected to increase dramatically within the next few years. Many of the nearly 80 million baby boomers are already "linked in" in some way, online.

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