Seniors 'Like' Social Media Too!

Posted by cservaes on July 19, 2013 in Alumni, Events Who says you can’t teach dogs “of a certain age” new tricks? Louise Eddington ’64 started using Facebook a few years ago to keep in touch with family and friends. Since then, she has learned the basics – and then some. She’s reached out to a handful of fellow classmates who utilize the social network and regularly checks the Ottawa University Alumni Facebook page. She even posts comments and “likes” photos on occasion. Eddington is just one example of senior alumni who are utilizing social media to keep in touch, not only with people, but with new technology and trends. Another is Bob Ohlsen ’52, who was featured in the last issue of Ottawa Spirit magazine, He uses e-mail to send photos and correspond with friends. He also reads the magazine online and posts comments, listens to podcasts of music performances, and makes use of other technology that some might assume is too technical for seniors. According to a June 2012 study called Digital Seniors conducted by Forrester Research and referenced on CNet, 60 percent of all U.S. seniors (those 65 and older) are online. Of those, about half – 49 percent - are using Facebook. The study also noted that 91 percent of those online now use e-mail; 46 percent send and receive photos by e-mail; 59 percent make purchases; 24 percent sign up for coupons; and 44 percent play solo games. Also, retirees who use the Internet regularly are 20 percent to 28 percent less likely to be classified as depressed, according to a study published in March 2012 in the journal Computers in Human Behavior by Shelia Cotten, a sociology professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Cotton says this is because of the connection and sense of community that the Internet provides. OU’s social media and other online features are making it easier than ever for the University’s alumni of every age to stay in touch with their classmates and their alma mater. In addition to The College’s main Facebook page,, alumni now can follow the official alumni page,, which features relevant news and events, contests, and special interactive projects. Currently, a project called “Dear Ottawa” is the focus of the Facebook page. It involves taking a photo of an old picture as it is held in the same location today for a “then vs. now” comparison. The project is especially enjoyed by OU’s older generation, as more and more are joining Facebook; some even remember the original pictures. With Homecoming on the horizon, plans are under way for creating Facebook groups for the various class reunions, with the classes of 1963 and 1965 already launched. International alumni can also engage with the University through the Hong Kong alumni Facebook page, In addition to Facebook, alumni can stay in the know by following OU on Twitter; viewing videos of events through the live stream channel; reading the Ottawa Spirit magazine online; signing up for e-mail announcements about events, job postings and giving opportunities; and by joining the Alumni Directory, which provides access to contact information for alumni through a secure login (see page 20). Anne Elizabeth Manna ’71 is making good use of many of these features. “I like the pictures on Facebook and the chance for real time communication,” she says. “I have read the Spirit online and have signed up for the Alumni Directory. I also go to the Alumni Website occasionally. I love to see OU news.” We invite you to join Manna by connecting with OU today through the varied media options now available.