Tuesday, January 5, 2016

“Social Media for Seniors” opens up world of possibilities and friendships

Wow, it's been awhile since I've posted in this blog.  I write a LOT about Agile software development, but haven't written much about social media in awhile.  However, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to review "My Social Media for Seniors" recently. This worked out perfectly as the book arrived the day before I was planning a trip to visit my mother for her 80th birthday and she had been wanting to learn more about Facebook.

I thought the book was excellent - clear and full of examples. I wrote a full review on Amazon.com, but it doesn't look like it's posted yet, so I'll go ahead and repeat my review here on this blog:

I’ve always been a huge fan of social media. What could be better than tools that allow us to communicate immediately with people around the world? To make friends and connections with experts in our field?  To share not only our “Kodak moments” but our thoughts, whether they are profound or trivial, with people who care? To get that happy feeling when we get a kind reply or a virtual laugh, from an old friend or even from a stranger.
And who better to take advantage of such communication than seniors? There’s no reason to ever be lonely when there’s a whole world of virtual friends at our disposal.  Unfortunately, however, many seniors are intimidated by ever-changing technology and often would rather avoid social media than deal with the challenges that can frustrate even the tech-savvy, such as identity theft, viruses, or fraudulent schemes.
“Social Media for Seniors” does a great job of explaining five of the most common social media sites, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, in an easily understandable vernacular, giving tips about the best ways to use these sites, which will help to remove any of the fears that might be hindering people from giving social media a try.  Explanations require no pre-requisite knowledge, yet are not condescending or “dumbed down.” Even though I’ve been working with technology my whole career and have coached people on the use of social media, I learned a thing or two, and found the book interesting and informative. Though there are some references to “seniors,” the audience could easily be anyone who wants to learn more about social media.
My mother, Suzanne Francino, age 80, says, “I like the book because it’s very down to earth in its directions and it touches on several areas that I didn’t know much about before but wanted to learn such as Pinterest and Twitter – I’d heard about these things but hadn’t known why they were beneficial.”

There were plenty of very specific instructions on how to use the sometimes less-than-intuitive User Interfaces for the applications.  I applaud the author for going to the trouble of giving step-by-step instructions with very clear examples.  Without that detail, readers would have difficulty knowing how to maneuver the sites and apply the knowledge they’re learning. Since those specific instructions may become outdated as new versions are released, readers should be aware that if the User Interface doesn’t act exactly as written, it most likely means there has been an update to the application. The book does a good job of not only giving step-by-step instructions, but explaining concepts and terms, so that it will remain relevant, even if the application does change.

I give the book high marks for the readability and feel it would be a useful source for anyone at any age who wants to learn more about social media. I’m happy to have it on my bookshelf and hope it will inspire anyone who hasn’t yet dipped their toes into the world of social media to give it a try.

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