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There is a common misconception that technology and social media are only appropriate for 20 or 30 somethings, to be used in the workplace or in education.  Granted, technology is probably most visibly used by this particular demographic, but technology and social media have uses across all age groups.  And not to pat ourselves on the back, but I think my family is an excellent example of the use of technology and social media across age groups.

Recently, my niece Abbie was celebrating her tenth birthday.  She has been begging for an Ipod.  My sister, in the hopes of encouraging Abbie’s passion for technology, and cultivating responsibility for the gadgets that can be a bit pricey, opted to get her, instead of an Ipod, a moderately priced mp3 player that will also take pictures, and record video.  Abbie is simply over the moon with it, and feels like she is the coolest kid in town.  Similarly, she has been wanting a cell phone, because she frequently sees me, Hubby, and other family members texting on our phones.  My sister feels Abbie is still too young to have the responsibility of a cell phone, so I found the perfect solution:  SMS text messaging devices.  It allows Abbie to send text messages from her device to someone else in the room with the partner device.  It can also act as an organizer and address book.    She called me when she got the gift in the mail, and recounted how she had been using the device with her mom all evening.  She was so excited, and I was thrilled that I helped encourage her enthusiasm for technology.

Abbie comes by her love of technology pretty honestly; she has watched her brother grow up on ever evolving gaming systems.  And it is not just the kids.  The other day, my mom called me, and as we were talking, she casually mentioned that she and my dad both ordered new cell phones, and they would arrive sometime this week.  I asked her what type they got, and she said, as cool as could be “we both got a Droid X.”  Today, my dad sent me a text message from his new Droid.  It said that he thinks he is going to have a lot of fun with his new phone.  I love the fact that my retirement- aged parents are so tech savvy.  Even my seventy something aunt recently got in on the game, setting up a Facebook page.  Granted, I highly doubt she will be “liking” a lot of ridiculous pages, or playing Farmville all hours of the day, but I fully expect she will use the page to keep in touch with our many relatives who live all over the country.

So, as you can see, just in my family, three separate generations are using technology and social media in everyday life.  And I think it is fantastic.  I encourage you all to introduce technology and social media to people whom, based on their age, you would think may not typically be interested, because you just might surprise yourself.  And the more diversity among users, (and the more social it gets), the more we all can learn.

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Author: Tiffany Harkleroad

Tiffany is a blogger who lives in the greater Pittsburgh area. Currently, she blogs about life in her small town near Pittsburgh, as well as reviews books, and occasionally tells amusing stories about her life with pets. She is addicted to social media, and learning to embrace her inner IT geek.