The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri


Social media and the elderly: A window to the world

Opinion series: Part two

Part One on the Muleskinner Site: Kids navigating the digital playground that is social media – Muleskinner (


 Shifting our focus from the younger generation to our more mature one, I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Mark Conely, a 74-year-old retiree from my old church who has embarked on a unique digital journey. For him, social media isn’t just a fad; it’s a lifeline that keeps him connected and engaged in a world that’s changing faster than ever before. Conely reminisced about the days when staying in touch meant putting pen to paper or dialing a phone number. 

  “In my day, we didn’t have the luxury of social media, “Conely said. “But now, it’s like a whole new world has opened up to us. I can chat with my grandchildren on Facebook, see their photos, and even keep up with the latest news.” 

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  He shared how he once stumbled upon a long lost friend from his past through a Facebook group dedicated to their hometown. 

Illustrated By: Nate Sullens


  “It was like finding a hidden treasure,” he said, “and I owe it all to social media.” However, Conely was quick to acknowledge that the digital world is not without its challenges, especially for seniors who might not be as familiar with technology. 

  “I had to learn the ropes from my grandchildren,” he said. “They patiently showed me how to create an account, send messages, and post photos. It took some time, but the rewards are absolutely worth the effort.”

  For older individuals like Conely, social media isn’t just about staying updated; it’s a valuable window to the world. It allows them to bridge the growing generation gap and savor connections that might have otherwise faded away with time. These platforms enable seniors to engage with their family members, share their own stories, and even form new friendships.

  In a world that can sometimes feel isolating for the elderly, social media offers a lifeline to stay connected and relevant. It’s a testament to the adaptability of individuals like Conely, who are willing to try new technologies and experiences to enrich their lives. As he put it, “Social media may have started as a mystery to me, but it has become a valuable part of my life, connecting me with both old memories and new possibilities.” 



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    mmminchuJan 31, 2024 at 2:05 pm

    Love the illustration! It looks like how my grandpa learned to FaceTime me.