'Grandparents Gone Wired': Teaching Technology to Senior Citizens

Imagine Grandma and Gramps composing a tweet or posting a picture on Instagram. Thanks to DoSomething.Org and Mentor Up, that previously preposterous thought is now more likely to become a reality. These nonprofit organizations are trying to accomplish this with "Grandparents Gone Wired," a national campaign that encourages teens to sign up and pledge to teach an elderly person how to tweet, use Instagram, or video chat.


According to PEW's Internet and American Life Project, 98 percent of 18-29 year-olds use the Internet. In contrast, only 56% of 65+ adults go online. On top of that, depression affects more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans who are 65 or older, as per a study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. One way to combat that latter figure? Enable senior citizens to stay in touch with family and friends via technology.

Last week, The Morning Show stopped by a "Grandparents Gone Wired" event held by DoSomething.Org, Senior Planet, and Older Adults Technology Services. At the event, YouTube sensation Madison Beer and other teens spent the afternoon volunteering with some senior citizens who were eager to learn more about hashtags, handles, and even Snapchat.


Jess Blank is a New York-based producer/editor who enjoys ghost stories, Victorian houses, dancing awkwardly in public, and chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

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