I told my 90-year-old Great Grandmother about my project a few days ago. She was less than enthralled and proceeded to tell me I could keep my letter unless I had information about vertigo. The honesty of a woman who has lived a nearly full life is unparalleled. But she wanted information, so I used the best resource I know for medical information, Google.
The letter I sent to my Great Grandmother was more like a research report, but it also helped me realize that social media and even computer use does not come as naturally to others as it does to me. The oldest known Facebook user, Lillian Lowe, is nearly 104 years old. Lowe uses social media to keep in touch with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Still, social media is not as popular with people born before the baby boom.
My own Great Grandmother asked me to complete this task because she has never learned how to get online, let alone use Twitter or Facebook. I’m sure constant connectivity can be a daunting concept for people who were alive when the television was invented. Social media doesn’t reach the 55+ age group as well as it does with younger groups, so to stay connected with them we must adapt our use communication.
Just as they have learned to adapt to new technologies, I am learning to communicate with my older family members using other resources. I can only hope that my letter writing project will allow me to get to know my great grandparents and grandparents better over the next year, and that my research project on vertigo reaches my Great Grandmother in Montana.