How to get your elderly non tech-savvy parent started with social media on a smart device
Introducing your elderly parents to the world of social media can cure their boredom and help them regain their sense of wonder. It’s not so difficult once you set up a suitable smart device and configure their social media accounts. Teach them slowly by starting with the basics and be patient too. Follow the steps below to help your elderly parents get started with the most popular social media platforms.
Creating a Facebook account for your elderly parents would help them to browse topics of their interest all they long, help them connect with their friends and family, and share what they like with the world. The first step is to set up a Facebook profile for them with all the necessary information and tick the ‘stay logged in’ option in the device that they would use. Add a profile picture of their choice and complete the necessary profile information with what they want to reveal to the world. And, configure their privacy settings.
Like a few pages from their account based on their interests such as food, gardening, crafting, religion, etc. so that their newsfeed is mostly dominated by stuff they like. Search for a few friends and family members that they want to connect with online and add them.
Now, teach them how to create their own posts by typing into the ‘update status’ box and adding pictures. Teach them what it means to like, comment, react, and share, and how to do those by clicking on the appropriate options. Show them how they can send messages to their friends and connect with them via video calls. Lastly, make sure they understand not to believe everything they encounter on their news feed, not to accept friend requests of unknown strangers and be wary of potential scammers.
The elderly who cannot read written text properly or are not interested in it can browse YouTube to watch fun and educational videos. Teach them how to open the YouTube app and search for videos via typing or voice search. You can create an account for them and subscribe them to channels that suit their interests. Make sure they learn how to share the videos they like on Facebook or Whatsapp and how to use the ‘save to watch later’ options. Additionally, you can teach them how to download videos for offline viewing when there is no internet connection.
After you install and set up the WhatsApp account for your elderly parents, teach them the fundamentals such as how to search for people and send messages by tapping on the chat icon at the bottom, use smileys and stickers, attach images by clicking on the ‘attach’ icon, click new pictures, add voice message, receive and initiate calls and video calls, etc.
Make sure they know how to mute or disable their video feed and control the volume buttons. It is also a wise idea to set up automatic backups to their Google drive. Also, add them to a family group so that they can interact with more people.
Store their account information such as their username and password in a safe place but make sure they can access it when you are not nearby. Make sure they know how to turn on the Wi-Fi and mobile data. And, always support them when they don’t understand something and help them clear the confusion.