Seniors and senior citizens can greatly benefit from online social networking sites such as Facebook and Instagram tools for instance A Social Networking website could be ‘just what the doctor ordered’ to relieve boredom and loneliness for many an older person.

When I was growing up – until about age 14 – on the farm, in Middle Tennessee, we didn’t have a telephone, didn’t have a television, and received communications from friends and family, by letters through what is today called “snail mail.”

The news and music we received were from the old ‘tube radio’ that my dad bought. If we had a newspaper to read, it was maybe the Sunday paper from Nashville, but we didn’t get it on Sunday, it came a few days later, via the ‘snail mail’.

Little did we ever realize or even dream “back in the olden days,” that we would be able to instantly connect and communicate with our families, friends, and even strangers who may later become friends.

I was one of the earliest ones in my large family to “get connected to the Internet” and ‘to establish an email address’ to communicate with other folks online. Gradually, my husband and I have either helped or encouraged the majority of both sides of our family to get computers and to ‘get online’.

But when I first joined Facebook, the popular online Social Networking website about 2 years ago, I didn’t realize just how handy and convenient this new form of ‘instant communication’ would be.

I joined Facebook to be able to stay in touch with my son and his family, who live about 3 hours traveling time from me. This method of online communication enables us to post and share photos and videos back and forth to each other. We can also leave notes about little stuff or about important happenings in our worlds. We can even utilize the ‘chat’ feature if we are online at the same time, and ‘talk’ back and forth through our computer keyboards.

I can send my son a link to a song I have written, which I put with a video and ‘uploaded’ online to the YouTube video-sharing site. He could put a note asking me to check on something locally here in his old hometown. And if I haven’t talked with him by phone, I can look at his entries on Facebook (even if not directly to me) and see that he is doing okay.

After I joined, I then started sending ‘Facebook invitations’ to friends and families, letting them know how Facebook helps you to ‘keep in touch’. I have 4 sisters, all of whom have computers now and 3 of which are ‘online’. I sent one sister in Louisville an invitation to join Facebook, along with all 5 of her children who are scattered from Louisville, Kentucky to Gallatin and Castalian Springs, Tennessee, and on to Indianapolis, Indiana.

All of her 5 children joined plus some of their children joined so we all were able to send messages back and forth to each other and share photos and such. But it wasn’t until my sister’s granddaughter, who was pregnant and lived in South Bend, Indiana, had that great-grand-daughter and started posting the baby photos on Facebook, that my “Louisville” sister finally joined Facebook just so she could see for herself the photos of her brand new great grandbaby! Now she loves it and is able to stay in touch with all of her children, and many of her grandchildren, no matter where they move to.

One sister won’t join Facebook and says it’s “because you get computer viruses from Facebook.” I say, No Way!

If your computer has a good computer virus protection program on it, and if you keep it up to date and run it frequently, and IF you don’t click on any “unknown” links, then you won’t get viruses from Facebook any more than anywhere else on the Internet.

To sum up my feelings about Facebook usage for Seniors, for any Senior Citizen who is adept with a computer, who likes people, and who can get online, I recommend you join Facebook and proceed to ‘connect’ with as many of your family and friends as you can, who are also online.

If you know someone’s email, you can send that person an ‘Invite’ to join Facebook. Once that person joins, they become your ‘friend’. If something doesn’t work out like you want or expect it to, you can always ‘remove’ a person as your friend. Before long, if you have a lot of family and friends who become your ‘friends’ it will keep you entertained anytime you sign in to Facebook. There always seems to be a ‘friendly face’ to see and a friendly comment to respond to.

It’s a whole new world that we never dreamed of, ‘seeing’ and ‘talking’ to family and friends who are many miles away from us!

No need to be lonely as Seniors or as Senior Citizens, as long as you have access to a computer and the Facebook Social Networking website.