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A recent study shows Facebook’s positive effect on the well-being of older adults, improving feelings of competency, autonomy, and connectivity.
Social media has long been believed to be a detriment to an individual’s well-being. While this may be true in some cases, researchers have found that when used correctly, Facebook and other social media platforms like it can have a positive impact on the well-being of seniors.
These results come as a stark contrast to the negative impact Facebook and social media have on younger people, who are more likely to experience anxiety, sleep deprivation, and depression from continued use of social media platforms. To avoid these results, seniors are encouraged to take a different, healthy approach to social media.
Researchers found that the overall use of Facebook had negative effects on well-being. Rather than scrolling through Facebook aimlessly, being mindful and actively participating in posts and direct messaging promotes positive outcomes. Posting pictures gives older adults a sense of competency that is positively linked to greater well-being.
Commenting and interacting through posts can increase the feeling of relatedness. Through direct communication, older adults gain the social support necessary to fend off feelings of isolation.
Social Networking Service (SNS) use in seniors is related to improved connectivity and low levels of loneliness, as online social networks keep them connected to loved ones and close friends. The study also found that those who customized their profile felt a greater sense of autonomy.
The effects Facebook and other social media outlets can have on well-being are nuanced and depend on how an individual uses that social outlet. Here are a few steps on how to use Facebook to create positive outcomes for well-being:
Wellzesta’s Life software encourages well-being and communication among its users by promoting purposeful living. Life offers various features that contribute to and help residents achieve this goal.
Direct messaging and targeted announcements through Life allow residents to stay connected with each other and their community as a whole.
Each resident is able to set personalized wellness goals that grant them the autonomy of taking control of their own well-being. Life also allows residents to personalize their profiles by adding photos, contact information, and facts about themselves.
Resident-centered technology allows users to easily navigate Life, leading to higher feelings of competency.
If used in a healthy and productive way, social media can be a source of wellness and positivity that connects loved ones and gives a sense of independence to its users.