Social Media
Going Beyond Facebook

Leisure Pursuits

Tech savvy senior woman on laptopTechnology can be frustrating. You finally master one tool only to find that everyone has already moved on to the next. That’s how it can feel using social media. With platforms that feature disappearing photos and the creation of stories, it’s no wonder many adults are left feeling overwhelmed. Not to mention, learning new tools takes time. Even the platforms you’re most familiar with can change in the blink of an eye. For example, did you know Facebook now allows you to bookmark interesting articles from your newsfeed so that you can read them later? Or have you tried the new stories feature? Check out this cheat sheet to help you decide if you should explore new social media sites and see which platforms are the best fit for you.

Instagram: Do you love sharing and looking at photos or videos? This is the social media app for you. Instagram can help make your photos instantly more beautiful with a wide selection of pre-made photo-enhancing filters. You can share up to ten photos in one post to feature on your profile, or you can add your pictures and videos to your story. Instagram Stories is a new feature that allows you to share the moments of your day through photos or videos. This content is compiled into a slideshow that your friends can easily access at the top of the app. Your story will disappear after 24 hours, so you don’t have to worry about updating it. It’s pretty easy to get the hang of!

Level: Easy

Twitter: Get your news in fewer characters through Tweets. With a 140-character limit, you can take pleasure in getting information quickly and efficiently. Twitter is most popular among news outlets and celebrities, so if you’re more of a social media “follower,” this is a great platform for you. If you like to organize, you’ll love Twitter’s list feature. Using this tool allows you to pick and choose the accounts you’d like to see in your stream(s). For example, you can create a list for all of your news outlets and a separate list for any pop culture icons you may follow for a more streamlined experience. This is another social media outlet with an easy-to-navigate app.

senior female friends taking a selfieLevel: Easy

Pinterest: Have you ever made a vision board or even just a collage? This is your digital version. Pinterest is a search engine filled with creative content uploaded from other users. If you love DIY crafts, cooking, planning, and beauty, this is your brainstorming haven. Create and pin new ideas to your virtual board and share them with your friends whenever you like. Plus, you can even shop by browsing pins. While it may take some getting used to, it shouldn’t be overwhelming to surf through the platform for the first time.

Level: Medium

Snapchat: If you love sending silly photos and messages to your friends but don’t want that content to live online forever, Snapchat is your best friend. The photos/messages disappear right after the other user opens it! The camera features many different smart filters that allow users to change their appearance in fun ways. For example, some filters can detect your face and turn you into a cute puppy or add silly facial hair. You can draw masterpieces on your images or even send a simple text message. If you love the image, you can even download it to save on your phone. Don’t want your video to disappear so quickly? Snapchat shares a similar story feature with Instagram, so you can add photos or videos for your friends to see for up to 24 hours. This app may prove to be more difficult to understand at first, but there are plenty of helpful tools online if you get stuck.

Level: Medium

Remember: If you need any help, your children (or a nearby millennial) are only a phone call away. You can also check out these great resources for tips on how to best use your new accounts.