Welcome to eStanley, the official blog of the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. While the blog will capture life at the Isaacs Center, we hope it will also become a social networking tool and new community connecting seniors regardless of geography. There is a societal myth that older people do not use computers and, therefore, would never use a blog to access information and gain mutual support, but, in fact, older people are the fasting growing population to use computers and the internet, ahead of teenagers.
22 percent of Americans age 65 and older use the Internet. That’s more than 8 million people. In contrast, 58 percent of 50-64 year-olds, 75% of 30-49 year-olds, and 77% of 18-29 year-olds go online.
Use of the Internet by adults age 65 and older grew 47 percent between 2000 and 2004.
3 percent of online seniors in the U.S. have created a blog, and 17 percent have read someone else’s blog.
American Chronicle reports:
This graying of the blogosphere will be reinforced by a number of factors. For starters, many of today’s seniors became comfortable with computers while they were in the workforce. Gone is the stereotype of technology adverse old men and women for whom the fax machine was the next big thing. In addition, an increasing number of seniors will feel empowered to start their own blogs as blogging software becomes ever easier to use.
Why else will blogs become attractive meeting places for seniors?
Blogging takes time. Seniors who may have once worked time and a half now have time and a half on their hands.
Blogs offer automatic community. Many seniors, having been displaced from the community of the workplace, seek the camaraderie of new communities.
Committed bloggers must possess a point of view and a willingness to express it. Many seniors, by virtue of their experience, possess a point of view. For reasons including physical ailments and social isolation they will turn to blogs to express it.
As seniors travel along the path leading to different concerns and decisions, they need lots of new information. This can be information about travel, housing, medicine, financial planning, illness, physicians, government-funded programs, and much more. Blogs are wonderful tools for both the solicitation and sharing of information. When you consider that this need for information may coincide with seniors’ decreased mobility, you realize that blogging is doubly advantaged.
So what will eStanely be? Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines a blog as “a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer.” About.com says a “Blog” is an abbreviation for “Web log,” which is typically an online journal or newsletter that is intended for the general public to read and is updated frequently. Blogs often include photos and links to other sites.”
There are now myriad sites specifically dedicated to senior blogging that discuss a whole range of topics. There are blogs about grandparenting, blogs about living with diabetes or any other health concern, there are blogs about travel, shopping, hobbies, political action, and pretty much anything under the sun that seniors experience and talk about.
eStanley will be all of the above and hopefully so much more. A blog’s strength is the dialogue and discourses that occur on the blog around topics that are presented. It is a democratic process where anyone can get involved in the on-going conversation as long as they are respectful and adhere to the eStanley Code of Conduct. We hope eStanley becomes a new community for connecting seniors and facilitates new understandings about ourselves and the world.