More than just a tool or channel for information, the Internet (and social networking, more specifically) has become a way for aging adults to connect to their loved ones and maintain their communities and relationships in ways more powerful than anything they ever imagined.
As adults move into older age, the spatial and social barriers they encounter start taking their toll. Isolation, loneliness, and depression are commonly experienced as family and friends move away and are less accessible, and as individual mobility and independence start to decline.
An upcoming study to be published by Dr. Shelia Cotten, a sociologist and Associate Professor from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, reveals that Internet use was associated with a 30 percent decrease in depressive symptoms among older adults who used it regularly, while other studies have shown similarly impressive results.
Check out the full article here...written as part of a MetLife Foundation Journalists on Aging Fellowship in partnership with New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.