Social networking sites for older people are wonderful ways to meet and share information with like-minded people. Social networking isn't just for youngsters, there are many sites suitable for older people on a wide range of subjects.
Social Networking for Older People
People have networked for centuries, through clubs, organizations and guilds, as well as informal networks of family and friends. Online social networking is the new generation of this tradition. There are many social networking sites available on the Internet, and the most well-known are often also considered to be the place for youngsters. This isn't the case, however, and sites such as MySpace are suitable for people of all ages.
As well as the large social networking sites, there are numerous smaller and more specialized sites that have been set up for people with specific interests. This might include learning a language, sharing a hobby, working within the same industry, investigating family history plus numerous other opportunities. Some sites have been listed below to illustrate the diverse nature of social networking:
- LinkedIn- A network and database for business people
- Ravelry- A reported 80,000 knitters and crocheters have joined this social network group
- BakeSpace- Exchange recipes and ideas
Why Join a Social Networking Site for Older People?
Many older people wonder why they should join a social networking site. There are, in fact, many benefits and this is an ideal way to meet with like-minded people. This appeals to a wide range of adults including:
Busy professionals often do not have the time to meet people or to have a proper social life. Social networking opens up doors onto a whole new world of opportunity, enabling friendships to be made, information to be exchanged and new interests to be fostered all from the computer.
People Living in Rural Areas
It has long been acknowledged that people living in rural areas derive great benefit from the Internet. Social networking has helped transform the lives of many people living in rural communities. Some councils, schools and local church groups have set up their own networks, and social networking is also a wonderful way to meet people from around the world.
Empty Nesters / Divorce
Major life changes such as children leaving home or divorce can leave a huge void in people's lives. Finding a social networking site for older people can help with people rebuilding their confidence and widening their social circle.
Some older people are housebound and social networking offers opportunities that could only be dreamed of until just a few years ago. This is a great way for housebound people to communicate with others and to network with people from around the world.
Finding a Social Networking Site
With so many social networking sites available, how do you go about finding the perfect site for you and your interests? Here are some tips to help:
Invest Some Time
Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and invest some time browsing the different social networking sites to see what is available. Besides the great ideas that you will find here at LoveToKnow about the different social networking sites available, there are some directories that will also offer interesting information. These include:
- Ning - Offers a wide selection of networks or you could even start your own!
- Wikipedia - There is an extensive list of social networks at Wikipedia
Free or Low-cost
Most social networking sites are free so there is no cost involved in signing up to find out more about a site. You can sign up for many sites during your research and then just concentrate on the ones that meet your needs the best.
If you are the member of other discussion groups or forums ask a question about which social networking sites other people belong to. This will help find a site that is populated by people with a common interest.
How to Get the Most From Your Social Networking Experience
- Participate! Although it is a cliché - the more you put in the more you will get out of networking.
- Be careful of sharing personal information and read carefully the terms and conditions of a site before signing up.
- Market your sites well to encourage people to visit you and to widen your network.
Adult Social Networking Sites: Beware!
"Adult" in Internet terms is often a euphemism for pornography, therefore be careful when looking for social networking sites that are advertised as "adult" sites. This might not mean that they are just suited to older people, it also might mean that the content is questionable.
Finding the perfect social networking site for older people is a wonderful way to extend your horizons and also have fun!