If you’re not using Facebook yet to stay in touch with your family and friends, chances are good you will be soon. In fact, research has shown that older adults comprise the fastest-growing category of new users on social networking sites such as Facebook.  The AARP Facebook page alone has more than 20,000 followers.  If you would like to learn more about Facebook, how it works and what it offers, make plans to attend an upcoming free Facebook Social Connections seminar hosted at Splendido on Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. 

Using Facebook is easy—if you can browse the Internet, you can master Facebook—and a growing number of today’s older adults are able to effortlessly stay connected with their family members every day. In 2011, the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project found that more than one third of Internet users age 65 and older use social networking sites such as Facebook—an astonishing 150 percent increase since 2009. 

The fact is, if you want to keep up with what your kids and grandchildren are doing, creating a Facebook page will help. One recent study showed that 76 percent of teens use Facebook, and Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 34 said that not only do half of them check the site when they first wake up, but a whopping 28 percent of them do so before they even get out of bed! 

Maybe you’re just “Facebook curious” – you know it’s out there but don’t see what all the fuss is about. You like the idea of staying connected, but maybe you’re worried about privacy and security - who can see the information you share? Maybe you don’t see the relevance of reading and posting information on the world wide web. Be assuredwith a very brief tutorial, you’ll understand how to control who is able to see the information you share – and learn the benefits of staying in touch with loved ones around the globe. As for the relevance, once you see what you’re missing, you’ll want to be included. Imagine, before you get out of bed, being able to browse photos of your granddaughter’s graduation… check who is planning on attending the upcoming class reunion… watch the latest addition to the family take his first steps… reconnect with long-lost grade school pals, or share the good news of your son’s new job. 

What if you’re considering exploring the world of Facebook, but don’t know where to start? Then mark your calendar: on Wednesday, Feb. 27, Splendido, 13500 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., Tucson, will host a free Facebook Social Connections Seminar. Paula Sellergren, Director of Marketing, Mather LifeWays, will help attendees get acquainted with today’s most popular online community. 

Sellergren will cover how to join Facebook—necessary for browsing news and messages on the site—as well as how to find and “friend” others, from high school classmates and former work colleagues to new acquaintances. 

“Facebook is an ideal way to stay in touch with people through private and public messages, photos, and more,” said Sellergren. “More and more people of all ages are turning to this tool to share important moments of their lives, as well as for everyday connections, humor, news, and inspiration.”

Splendido is a joint venture of Mather LifeWays, a non-denominational, not-for-profit organization headquartered in Evanston, Ill., that creates Ways to Age Well(SM) for older adults, and the Plaza Companies, an Arizona-based leader in senior living communities and health care facilities. Splendido offers all-inclusive, resort-style living for adults 55 years and better through the 10,000-square-foot Saluté Spa & Fitness Center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 24-hour concierge service, multiple restaurants and lounges, an 18-hole putting course and cinema. To learn more about Splendido, call 878-2612 or visit www.splendidotucson.com.

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