Kentucky seniors learn to use Facebook

As a recent study confirmed once again, more seniors are now online than ever before. The Pew Research Center found that, for the first time ever, more than half of Americans over the age of 65 were online, and a third of them use social media such as Facebook and YouTube.

But on a smaller scale, what is it like for seniors to use the internet, having never done so before?

As reported recently in the Arizona Republic newspaper, a group of seniors in Louisville, Kentucky have been taking crash courses in social media at a local library, and for many seniors, while the learning curve was steep, the results were gratifying.

“I said, 'Whenever they make me put the library on computer, I'm walking out,” 86 year-old retired librarian June Rice told the newspaper about when she was opposed to using computers. Now, after her children bought one for her, she’s a regular e-mail user and even now has more than a thousand friends on Facebook, coming from her years as a librarian, and her local newspaper column.

The media outlet reported that seniors who use the internet and social media, whether at home or in assisted living communities, tended to be less depressed and more socially-engaged than their peers without computers.