A Guide to Social Media: From Facebook to SnapChat

Previously in another blog post, we gave some reasons for seniors to get active on social media, like staying in touch with distant relatives and finding work or volunteer opportunities. Connecting on social media can also be a lot of fun, and a chance to play with young grand kids on their turf. Just ask this woman who tried out Snapchat with her grandson!


Still, it can be daunting for some seniors to get active on social media. Thankfully there are library branches (like the Central Branch and the Terry Salman Branch) in Vancouver that offer regularly scheduled courses on computer uses, privacy settings, and social media basics taught by tech-savvy volunteers. Thinking of getting involved, but unsure what you’re getting into? Here is our brief introductory guide to some platforms to connect online!




Facebook, launched in 2004 for college students, is now used by everyone ages 13 and up to connect with peers, send instant messages over long distances, share photos of everyday life and major moments, and keep connected to news that is both global and local and personalized according to the user’s interests and network. Your profile allows you to upload an image of yourself as well as a cover photo, share information about your education and relationship status (or not), and post images, news articles, video clips, songs and/or other links that you want to share with your friends and family. You can decide how much personal information to share or not to share. It is a great way to keep in touch in an everyday way with loved ones who live far away. An online guide written by a senior may be a useful starting point to know more about how to use it. You can follow us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/hometohomeadvisory/




Perhaps you have heard how much the President of the United States uses Twitter? This social media site famously helped Donald Trump communicate with his supporters while campaigning for office. Twitter is a more concise form of social media than Facebook. While Facebook posts can be lengthy and photo albums can contain dozens of images, Twitter posts can be no longer than 140 characters in length. It is more like a broadcasting platform rather than a tool to stay connected to loved ones. This social media site not only allows you to share your thoughts but to follow the stream of consciousness of your favorite actor, news anchor, sports player, or other public personality. It is also a great way to get news headlines from publications like the New York Times in a quickly digestible form. For more information on using Twitter, see this online guide. And to follow us on Twitter, click on Home to Home’s Twitter page!


Linked In


Linked In is a networking site for professionals, and a convenient avenue to get your name out there if you are going in a new direction after retiring from your original career. The site allows you to write up a profile of your past work experience, education, featured skills, accomplishments and interests. While Facebook can be very personal, Linked In is purely professional and a place to put your best work self forward! For more information on getting started, visit this online guide to using Linked In. And to follow us on Linked In, check out Home to Home’s Linked In page!




Instagram is a social media site intended to share snapshots of your life – images of a beautiful sunset, a reunion with a friend, or a good meal, for instance. It can also be used as a vehicle to market yourself in some way. While your grand kids will probably think of social media supermodels like Gigi Hadid if you bring up Instagram, did you know that there are seniors who love fashion and share their outfits for fun and inspiration on the site as well? And if you want recent candid photos of your grand children, instagram is probably a good place to start looking! To learn more about the basics of using Instagram, click here for an online guide to getting started on Instagram.




SnapChat is a platform for sharing photos and videos with friends and family – not documentary movies you find online, but short personal home videos, called “stories” – with the added fun of using filters! The videos you and your circle choose to share with one another are just short clips, and the filters you can apply include the face swap, the dog, and more. This platform can feel a bit silly to some seniors, but others love it! Better yet, there is a good chance your grand kids love it – and their videos are adorable. Click here for a beginner’s basic guide to SnapChat.


No matter which platform you use, social media can be a great way to connect with family, both younger and older, as well as friends, peers and potential employers. It can also be fun to learn a new skill set, like social media use, especially when the skill in question can help bring you closer to loved ones… Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter or Linked In and let us know what you think about the pros and cons of social media use by seniors!